On Tuesday 14th August, 2018, the students from grades 1/2 attended their term 3 excursion to the Royal Botanical Gardens to participate in the Connecting to Country Program.
We had a fantastic day! After what felt like a bus trip that took ‘FOREVER’ for some of our students, we sat and had our morning snack on the beautiful green grass and stretched our legs. We then went for a walk over to the Shrine of Remembrance, where we found a walk through passage filled with pretty red poppies. It was wonderful to hear some students make the connection to our Anzacs and the sacrifices they made for our country. As we moved up the steps of the Shine of Remembrance, we took the time to show our respect for those who fought for our country.
1/2L was met by a lovely man down in the Crypt named Alec who kindly showed us around and told us all about the boats the soldiers used during the war, the animals that were involved in helping the soldiers and the uniforms they wore. We found books that contained the names of soldiers who fought in the war. They were listed in alphabetical order. Then we went outside and found the Eternal Flame. This flame is very special, as it commemorates and remembers the soldiers who fought and died in all world wars. The flame is called the Eternal flame, as it never stops burning.
Next we went back to the grassy area and sat down to have our lunch. We had a little run around and then practised some mindfulness. Miss Murdaca was our judge for which house would receive 2000 house points for doing the best mindfulness. Then it was time to go to our Connecting to Country Program. We met our group guide Lenka who greeted us by saying ‘Wominjeka”. She then took us with her other guides to participate in a traditional Indigenous welcoming ceremony, where they welcome members of each generation including elders, middle generations and children. She threw leaves into a fire and made the smoke waft around us all. The smell from the different leaves was beautiful. Then we broke up into our class groups and did activities including painting using ocre paint and water, weaving using flax weeds, walking around the garden to find various plant medicines as well as seeing various musical and hunting instruments and animal furs that Indigenous People use for clothing and warmth.
After all of this learning, it was time to go home. We were all tired from so much walking, but we had a great day and learnt so much about the culture of Australia’s First People.