21 students and five staff members from Parklands Christian College embarked on their first “On Country” Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Trip in partnership with Raw Impact during the first week of the school holidays
The team spent 5 days serving and learning from the Gunggari Nation Elders at their home in Mitchell, Queensland.
Parklands Christian College outreach coordinator Amanda Young said the trip was life-changing for all involved.
“We helped to clean up and slightly renovate a nursery on the property with the plan to build a thriving bush tucker enterprise … an awesome way to educate others about different types of bush tucker, and traditional native plants and their uses.”
Amanda said real connections were planted and trust was established between the Gungurri Nation Elders and the PCC Team.
“Most importantly, our students and staff spent time building relationships and learning from the Elders of the Gunggari people,” she said.
“Our team soaked up every word.”
PCC college captain Maya said the students practiced Dadirri in the first afternoon, which was the art of deep listening and connecting to nature.
“When I sat and listened, I could hear the wind coming down the valley, the rustling trees and all the different birds chirping in the distance,” she said.
Year 11 student Maria said the days were hot and the work was hard, but she learned a lot through serving.
“We’ve been working on the nursery so that it will be functional once again to grow bush tucker and other traditional native plants,” she said.
“On day four we took a break from working and went for a hike through Mt Moffatt, experiencing the rich nature, beautiful wild flowers and spectacular sacred Aboriginal rock art.”
Amanda said the team was excited to form connections with the First People’s of our land, and she hoped that the students would be challenged by our history through the partnership.
“It is also our hope that our friendship with the Gunggari people will inspire the next generation to appreciate the richness of Aboriginal Culture and appreciate its important place in the Australian identity,” she said.
“This trip and the memories we’ve brought home have had a huge impact on our lives … we can’t wait to return next year to learn more.”