#1000actionsfortheplanet #lifeonland #lifebelowwater

I rather like the secret grove of paperbarks on the river. It is a great place for imagining – imagining what the river was like before colonisation, asking the big questions:

How has it changed over time?

What will it look like in the future?

I take students to this little secret place of mine because their imaginations go wild, too. You can see it in their faces as I set the scene. Walk quietly, listen to the sounds. Close your eyes, imagine the past, the birds, the families who hunted here, the Chinese who managed the market gardens. I share stories of swimming in the river, the birds, the people I have met who have shared their stories, too.  Of Tom Hungerford as he opened the gate in the cold of the morning to look for cows, of Uncle Noel Nannup teaching me Nyoongar names, of the spirits that sit above the trees watching over us as we talk about the role of custodians, carers for our river, now and in the future.

Today was no different.

The students talk non stop on the way back to the classroom:

  • Does dog poo make the river sick?
  • Did you see the chitty chitty?
  • Will those trees be affected by climate change?
  • Why did people take the trees out?
  • What poison is in the cigarette butts?

These questions will form the basis of the next 9 weeks of Green Lab, where students from Wesley College will explore the river alongside scientists, artists and elders to learn about the area and make a plan to care for country. They’ll even get to meet Prof Lyn Beazley AO, Chief Scientist for WA 2006 – 2013.

Cat CEO Millennium Kids

For more information about how your school can get involved in this program email info@millenniumkids.com.au

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