Darraweit Guim Primary School students took part in a smoke cleansing ceremony as part of Uncle Gallagher’s visit to the school during National Reconciliation Week. ​

Darraweit Primary School students last month participated in a series of traditional Aboriginal activities to learn about Indigenous culture and support in-class learning.

Gunditjmara Aboriginal elder Uncle Trevor Gallagher visited the school, taking students on a creek walk, completing a smoke cleansing, dancing, singing, and painting with ochre to get students engaged in a traditional Aboriginal yarning circle.

A yarning circle is a type of traditional gathering where participants sit in a circle, often around a fire, to talk and share stories. The idea of the circle is to allow anyone who speaks to be easily seen and heard by everyone in the group.

Teacher Jennifer Bryan said Uncle Trevor’s visit would complement the school’s own yarning circle.

“He created the yarning circle out at what we call the Magical Tree and talked us through a bit of ceremony and different Aboriginal practices,” she said.

“He showed us things like boomerangs, possum skins, and taught us a song about Bunjil the eagle.”

The school’s yarning circle is being developed as part of its environmental studies program, designed to help develop deep listening skills, knowledge sharing and establishing rules about respectful behaviour.

“The yarning circle project is ongoing and while we’re creating it, we want to make sure we’re really embedding the Aboriginal culture into the school,” Ms Bryan said.

“We got permission last week from the Wurundjeri Council to go ahead with the yarning circle so it’ll definitely stick around.”

Ms Bryan extended thanks to Uncle Trevor for visiting the school and sharing Aboriginal culture with the students.

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