Staff and students at Chapman Valley Primary School recently combined forces with representatives from the Rotary Club of Geraldton, Shire of Chapman Valley and Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) to create a bush food garden on the school grounds, transforming a formerly disused area into a vibrant native garden – complete with a talking circle for sharing stories about local Aboriginal culture.
Chapman Valley Primary School Principal Melanie Hancock and gardener Jane Barndon embraced the opportunity to turn their long-term dream of a school bush food garden into reality. Approximately 170 local native bush food seedlings were planted on the day with support from NACC’s Elevate Your Impact project.
Local Traditional Custodian Theona Councillor kicked-off the event with a warm Welcome to Country, and told a couple of stories about her ancestors from the area.
The very successful event attracted around 40 volunteers and was initiated by Di Gilleland from the Rotary Club of Geraldton who applied for funding from NACC to hold a National Tree Day event in the region – in response to a challenge from Rotary International President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley. Mr Riseley asked every Rotary Club to plant a tree for each of its members in order to help protect the environment and combat climate change.
NACC NRM Project Manager Sarah Samulkiewicz-Taylor said it was wonderful for so many different people to come together all for a common cause.
“I’d like to extend a special thank you to Theona Councillor, a Naaguja woman from Moonie Mia, who shared her family stories and welcomed everyone to the traditional land of her ancestors,” she said.
“Hopefully this marks the beginning of shared stories in this garden, and the further ongoing exchange of important cultural information”.