To acknowledge National Reconciliation Week, Rivendell students had the pleasure of a visit from the Department of Education’s Aboriginal Education Team. Students had the unique opportunity to learn about Aboriginal traditions and culture through hearing stories and holding traditional tools, including baskets, fire sticks and possum skins.
The 2019 theme for National Reconciliation Week is Grounded in Truth and students were reminded of the dark times in Australia’s colonial history, as well as the importance of learning about the stories and customs of the traditional owners of our land.
Earlier in the week, during art workshops, students learnt about the creation story of Wagyl, the rainbow serpent. The rainbow serpent is a story told by many different Aboriginal cultures and goes by many names including Wagyl, Goorialla, Ngalyod, Kajura and Dhakkan to name a few. The diversity in names also reflects the diversity in stories, but all stories share similarities. The serpent is seen as the giver of life and formed the land into mountains and streams. When seen as a rainbow in the sky, the serpent is said to be travelling between water holes.
As we created our rainbow serpent, students talked about current environmental issues with water management and the need to take care of our land.
Students enjoyed the process of making their rainbow serpent. We began by drawing the outline and filling in with patterns. We discussed the traditional process of mark making. Students then created patterns on foam-core and printed them using printing inks, with outstanding results.