Costa, Fingal Head Public School’s Dreamtime Pathway & Bush Tucker Garden – RIG News, Sept. 2013, School Gardens Feature
Costa’s news from Fingal Head Public School’s Dreamtime Pathway and Bush Tucker Garden
Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the Murwillimbah District of Northern NSW as part of a local food initiative being developed called the Farmer’s Choice School Organics Program. All local schools were being visited as a way of building connections not only between schools but to the local markets and farmers in the area to increase awareness of the importance of local food and how it is grown and supplied throughout the region.
One of the highlights of my first day on the road was a visit to Fingal Head Public School. For a full album of pictures from my visit check out the schools website at:
When I walked in the gate, the students were at the ready in the open space playing field along the school boundary. Well actually we came in the gate at the top of the school and it turned out that we snuck up on the whole welcome operation which was stationed at the lower gate. Nothing like a bit of a left field mix up to mess with the plans, but no one was thrown and the show was off and running within a few minutes. A group of four young indigenous students were part of a fantastic welcome ceremony by local elders and the students.
Since my visit to Yirrkala my appreciation and feeling of a welcome to country has taken on a whole new and much deeper meaning so it was once again one of those moments that I do not forget, to be welcomed to a new part of our wonderful country. Many thanks for the effort to prepare and share this welcome for me. It really means everything.
From this moment on I was led to what I would describe as the most comprehensive school bush tucker garden that I have ever seen. In fact I would call it Fingal Head’s own Bush Tucker Botanic Garden Walk. I was lead along a pathway that wound from the higher part of the playing field boundary down intro the bordering dunes/wetlands. Along the way each and every student had prepared their explanation of the plant or tree that they were given responsibility for. In groups of two, I was explained the indigenous name, botanic name and common name of each plant, what its uses are and how it has been used over time. The students were incredibly articulate and explained so many interesting details that I didn’t want to rush any of the stops.
I can not stress enough how impressed I was by the students and their sharing, expression and genuine interest in the plants they were describing and better still the stories behind the plants. It was an incredibly educational experience for me and all the parents that followed I am sure. The best part about this garden walk is that it is so mature. It is not a case of small tubestock in the ground and the plaque being larger than the plant. This is a really developed bush tucker garden , the best that I have seen and an educational asset and resource for the whole community.
Congratulations to all the local elders for their input and ongoing support of the project, along with the principal, staff and community for their ongoing support of this significant local and regional landscape. The platter of bush tucker and medicine is something that I would like to learn more about and I look forward to visiting the students again when I have more time and can spend some class sessions sharing stories and experiences.
Story and photos kindly provided by Costa Georgiadis for RIG News