South Coast NRM recently supported Cultural awareness and Aboriginal art sessions with South Stirlings Primary School students as part of the Noongar Kaartdijin (knowledge) program. 

Students gathered around the yarning circle built in the school garden to listen to stories from Mrs May Penny, Noongar Elder and President of the Tambellup Aboriginal Progress Association. Mrs Penny captivated students with stories of her childhood growing up in the area and the importance of the local animals to Noongar people.

Mrs Penny took the students on a walk through bushland near the school looking for, and learning about, bush foods. Students and teachers were surprised with the variety of plants growing so close to the school. The bush setting for the school is a great resource for learning environmental values.

Students had the chance to get drawn into Aboriginal artwork with local Noongar artist George Miniter visiting the school in early December. George shared some of his artwork with the students and introduced a traditional dot technique.

A few artful hours were spent with George assisting students to develop a picture and colours that had meaning to the students. Each student had a picture they were proud to show. George also spent time with staff looking at Cultural art opportunities that he could help the school with in the future.  

The Noongar Kaartdijin (knowledge) program is supported by funding from the Western Australia’s State Natural Resource Management Program WA and Commonwealth Bank to extend in-school Cultural awareness throughout the region. For more information contact Natalie Reeves, Noongar Kaartdijin Project Officer at