Cobar Public School (CPS) held Dreaming Day activities at the school last Wednesday which included the official opening of their Yarning Circle.
The students at the school are actively involved with learning about local Aboriginal culture and the school’s Dreaming Day is a major celebration on the school’s calendar each year as part of NAIDOC and Education Week.
All students, along with children from the two local preschools and students and staff from Cobar High School, participated in a range of different learning activities that celebrate aboriginal culture.
Children got to play indigenous games, learn rock art painting techniques, do face painting, build gunyas, they got up close to reptiles, played indigenous sport, participated in a music workshop, as well as doing some sand drawings and gardening in the school’s newly opened yarning circle.
The yarning circle is to be used for teaching and learning experiences that encapsulate the indigenous culture of the local area.
It was officially opened last Wednesday with a traditional smoking ceremony led by Jacqui Lawrence and Cobar Public School students with assistance from local indigenous community members Janine Mann and Joan Evans.
CPS’s Stage 2 and 3 students have been involved in the planning process which included the construction of two gunyas (one for males, one for females), native vegetation, large rocks to sit on, a fire pit and a yarning circle.
The gunyas are representative of traditional Aboriginal homes and are used for ‘secret men’s business’ and ‘secret women’s business’, as in the indigenous culture men and women are traditionally separated for their meetings.
The school received a $2,000 environment grant from the Teachers Mutual Bank to help fund the project.
Peak Gold Mines’ staff helped to source large rocks to be used in the area. Ngalli, the high school and J Prisk Contractors have also contributed by supplying materials to build the yarning circle.
The fire pit at the centre of the yarning circle was constructed by high school VET students and was the focal point of last week’s smoking ceremony.
A Dreaming Day art gallery was run at the school as well as a NAIDOC short story writing competition with prizes awarded to the winners.