Last Thursday and Friday Years 5 and 6 attended ‘Frog Dreaming’, an excursion held at UNE’s Newholme Research Centre at Mount Duval. The excursion was generously organised and run by our Local Landcare Department and involved 50 students from a range of local small schools. It was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to mix and mingle with students from varying backgrounds and participate in a range of activities which developed their knowledge of the local environment and sustainability.
On Thursday, the girls went on a slightly challenging but worthwhile bush walk to the top of Mount Duval. Here a ‘Welcome to Country’ was held before the girls participated in a smoking ceremony to cleanse their minds, bodies and sprits. In the afternoon, students were spilt into totem groups and learnt about the significance of their totem in Aboriginal culture by taking in learnings from their totem elders and devising group performances to share their knowledge. At night, students were treated to a ‘bush cinema’ where they watched a collection of videos on local wildlife and met the Maratus man, who became famous for discovering new species of Peacock spider.
After a night of rain-free camping, the girls participated in a range of activities in their totem groups to explore the biodiversity of Mount Duval. A highlight was searching for and finding colourful and cute Peacock Spiders! The girls also engaged in a bush regeneration sustainability initiative, planting many native plants to help create new habitats for the local wildlife and support local biodiversity.
The girls all had a wonderful time on this excursion and many are hoping to return in Year 9 as mentors for the younger students.