Seventy-five primary school students from Northern Bay College focussed on Indigenous culture as part of celebrations marking National Water Week’s theme – Water – the Heart of our Culture, at Narana on October 19.
The event at Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Grovedale was full of colour, celebrating Indigenous culture. Students learnt about Dreaming stories, connection to the land, spirituality, laws and cultural designs.
True to form for National Water Week it was raining. The day kicked off with a Welcome to Country from traditional owners the Wadawurrung, followed by painting and learning to throw a boomerang, a nature walk visiting emus and wallabies, and learning about bush tucker and native medicine plants. Students also discovered about water and the wonders of the tiny waterbugs that inhabit our waterways with Waterwatch staff, and then participated in Dreamtime through dancing, art and stories.
Corangamite CMA’s Kristen Lees said this year’s National Water Week partnership event was an opportunity for the students to discover in a fun way more about Australia’s Indigenous cultural heritage and how it links to our environment, in particular our waterways.
Barwon Water’s Fernando Garcia said water plays a vital role in our culture, helping shape our everyday lives through recreational activities, that natural world and our community values.
“Hosting the celebrations at Narana provides an opportunity to understand the role water plays in Aboriginal culture. The Wadawurrung have a deep spiritual connection with the land and this flows through in the stories and culture of the Aboriginal people,” Mr Garcia said.
“As water managers, Barwon Water values these stories. We can learn a great deal from the Traditional Custodians who have been managing the land and water sustainably over thousands of generations.”
Thank you to the education staff at Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre for all your hard work and efforts in ensuring the day was a fantastic success despite the weather. Feedback from staff and teachers alike was overwhelmingly positive with one teacher commenting that we had managed to engage students that “never participate in anything”. The smiles on faces and awesome cultural dancing showed us that yes indeed “Water is the Heart of Our Culture”.