On Friday the 17th of February, NACC NRM’S Priscilla and Alanah, in collaboration with Chapman River Friends, Birdlife Midwest, Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation and volunteers, took a group of Bluff Point Primary School students down to the Chapman River for an exciting opportunity to Re-Connect to Country.
We were grateful to have our Elder June Councillor come down to share her knowledge.
The students gathered in a circle where June and Priscilla welcomed them on Naaguja land. June told stories about growing up on the Chapman River, explaining that a long time ago, the river was clean, running and there was plenty of fish for the Naaguja people. The students and teachers then explored the river while learning about how the Naaguja People lived on the river.
The students threw sand in the river, a long-standing First Nations tradition designed to show respect to the land and waters. Alannah spoke to the students about the Saltmarsh and its importance in the ecosystem. The students then enjoyed looking out through binoculars under the Chapman River Bridge, checking out the riverbanks and the trees.
Breaking up into two groups, some students completed activity worksheets, which prompted them to engage with their senses along the Chapman River. The second group were allocated to the Chapman River Friends Station, where they identified different bugs in the river’s ecosystem. The kids also noted the amount of rubbish along the river, and are already planning to return for a clean-up along the river.
It was a wonderful day with Bluff Point Primary, and we look forward to having more schools learn about the history of Chapman River and how we can all respect it and keep it healthy.
This project is supported through funding from the Australian Governments National Indigenous Australians Agency.