Students in Stage 2 have been learning about the First Contacts between Indigenous Australians and British Settlers. They have been asking themselves, “Who were Australia’s First Peoples? How did they live? What was important to them?”
To help them in their learning, they have been exploring how Indigenous Australians lived before Captain Cook claimed Australia for the British. They have been learning about how important the land was for them and how they cared for it.
To assist them in this, Stage 2 visited the Royal Botanic Gardens. The students investigated a wide variety of local native plants which were integral in the life of the first Australians. The Aboriginal Education Officer provided a personal perspective of how indigenous people of the Sydney area used plants for food, medicine, tools and weapons, and gave our students a unique opportunity to meet and interact with a member of our indigenous community.
They have also visited Duck Creek in Auburn. They learned that this was an important meeting place for the Darug people, the original inhabitants of this area. They saw some of the changes that have occurred to the land and waterways over time.
Through these learning activities, students are developing a greater respect and understanding for Australia’s unique flora and fauna. More importantly, they are growing in their appreciation for the knowledge and wisdom that the first Australians possess. They understand that non-Indigenous Australians can learn much from them regarding the stewardship of this land.
Subsequently, the students will be turning their attention to the reasons why the British came to Australia and will ask themselves, “Why did Europeans first come to Australia? What happened as a result?” As they explore these questions, students will begin to understand the many challenges that face our society and begin to ask themselves how they can be ones that work towards solutions.