Prepared by the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Education Service the Aboriginal Resources Trail (ART) is designed to give students a greater understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture, particularly of the local Victorian communities.
The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne has more than 100 species of plants used by Aboriginal people. In this program students explore the Gardens learning how some of these plants were used for food, medicine, tools, making fire and spiritual significance. Activities include viewing Aboriginal artefacts, making ochre paintings and using plant fibre to make string. They will learn about sustainable land use by Aboriginal people.
The Aboriginal Resource Trail can be presented with a primary school or secondary school focus. There is also an Early Childhood Program called ‘You and Me,Murrawee’. The ART program can be adapted for older students such as VCE Outdoor and Environmental Studies. All levels participate in a Welcome to Country ceremony but the teaching focus changes to suit the level of understanding of the students and the educational needs and skill level at each age.
The topic of Aboriginal culture can provide a rich context for approaching a number of the Domains of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards and AusVELS. Apart from closely matching Standards statements in Humanities Domains, there is excellent scope to include this context in the Domains of ‘Physical, Personal and Social Learning’ as well as ‘Interdisciplinary Learning’ Strands. Indigenous Education is a key part of the whole of the National Curriculum
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