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In weeks 6 and 7, Year 5 students were fortunate to receive two visits from Indigenous guest educator, Mr Trent Hill. Trent, a Noongar man from South-West Western Australia, engaged the boys with explanations of how traditional tools and technologies from a variety of language groups from across Australia were made. He also explained how our first Australians used them to thrive across a range of environments from the deserts to the tropical North. The boys learnt about traditional hunting techniques and how the tools used varied depending on the prey and the environment. An example of this were the three different styles of boomerang, all used for distinct purposes. Other items discussed were digging sticks, clothing items made of kangaroo, bush glue made from spinifex, cutting tools and woomeras (used to throw spears). Trent Hill’s demonstration of the yidaki (didgeridoo) from Arnhem Land was also a highlight.

The artefacts session was followed up by an explanation of the four pillars of Indigenous culture being stories, song, music and dance. It is in these four definitive ways that stories are passed on, young people taught cultural values and culture and ceremony have been preserved. Trent explained two traditional stories, which both explained dreaming/creation and showed how these stories provide safety and moral messages for young people to learn. These messages include the importance of respecting elders, looking after one another and being careful with fire. Both the artefacts and dreaming sessions were language rich with the boys learning a range of words from different Indigenous language groups across Australia. The boys thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the rich history of our Indigenous Australians.

Mr Aaron Barrie

Trent Hill explains how traditional tools were made