A successful excursion to Brungle Public School was conducted with Kooringal High and Tumut High Burrabinya Students earlier in September.
Tumut Burrabinya students arrived first and met with Shane Herrington from National Parks. Mrs Jenny Lawler, Brungle Public School principle, had requested Shane to assess some poles below for suitability to paint. Students watched Shane and his nephew Iziah, who is also a Burrabinya student, assess the poles for termite damage. They found that all poles were to damaged to paint and arrangements were made for them to be replaced in the near future.
Students, staff and Elders were welcomed in a traditional greeting in both Wiradjuri Language and English, and we were presented with a beautiful carved ceremonial staff, which we handed back in turn, as a sign of welcome and mutual respect. Students undertook cultural enrichment with two Rangers from NPWS, with a bush tucker/cultural walk being undertaken throughout the Brungle Public School Grounds. Students learned the practical and cultural importance of local bush flora such as the Kurrajong Tree which provides fibre for string and edible seeds, as well as the blossoms marking the breeding season for certain native fauna species,
We were shown a traditional camp, with a winter shelter created, where Shane demonstrated and asked students to assist with creating fire using sticks to create a coal, that would then light stringy bark tinder to create fire. We were then graced with the sounds of the Didgerdoo, which is traditionally a symbol given to a boy as he reaches manhood, and is taboo to women. Shane and Nate made the sounds of a Dingo, kangaroo hopping and Kookaburra, which were amazingly lifelike. This was then followed by the students enjoying a BBQ lunch with all three schools, teachers and Elders.
Most of the group then followed Aunty Sonie and Winnie to the Cultural Room to learn about local artifacts and their uses, as well as their name in Wiradjuri Language. Due to the sacredness of the space, pictures were not allowed to be taken.
Thank you to Brungle Public School, Aunty Sonie Piper, Shane and Tahlia from NPWS for making it a very informative day.