Students enjoy cultural enrichment activities
On Thursday 7 December 2017, a group of 14 Indigenous students from Cowra High School set off on a cultural enrichment excursion to the Blue Mountains.
After an early start, we began our walk from Scenic World, led by former Cowra High student David Newton (Yamandirra). As we stood overlooking The Three Sisters, Yamandirra explained to us that Aboriginal people believe there are actually seven sisters and told us the story of how the sisters were turned to stone by their father after a warrior was being disrespectful to them.
Throughout our 4 hour trek we learnt about various native plants that Aboriginal people would use for bush tucker and medicinal purposes. Some of these included:
- Lemon scented tea tree for the respiratory system
- Yellow wattle tree as a natural antibacterial soap
- The grevillea, which is Nature's Gatorade
- The candle stick banksia which can be used as a fire starter
Along the way we listened to many Aboriginal stories and the lessons they had to teach us. We also saw lots of different wildlife and even got to hand feed some cockatoos. Yamandirra explained the significance of the ochre used in ceremonies and dance and showed us where to find and prepare it. We also found the plant used in basket weaving and all got the chance to practice our weaving technique.
One highlight of the day was the opportunity to cool off and enjoy our lunch amongst the rocks of a spectacular natural waterfall.
We would like to thank Yamandirra for sharing his knowledge and passion for Aboriginal culture. It was a fantastic experience, we learnt so much and a great day was had by all. Thanks also to Peter Holmes from Cowra PCYC for driving the bus.