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Bindoon Primary School’s Six Seasons Garden

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Isabel Gardiner, Uncle Jimmy, Principal Amanda Robinson and Savannah Hansen in the garden.

It was perfect Djilba morning at Bindoon Primary School for the official opening of their Six Seasons Garden on Monday 11 September.

Two years in the making, the garden features an array of native plants and rustic metal signage naming and depicting the six Noongar seasons of Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba and Kambarang, which were a collaborative artwork with previous years’ senior school students from Edmund Rice College. Winding through the garden is a decorated path representing the Wagyl (Rainbow Serpent).

After a lovely rendition by students of the Indigenous welcome song Wanjoo, Principal Amanda Robinson welcomed guests and explained the school’s aim to develop a culturally safe and secure learning environment for all students. Amanda said, “Education and educators have a vital role to play in raising awareness about Aboriginal history, culture and languages; and then translating this awareness into culturally responsive actions.

“By creating this garden, we hope to build connection to country within all our students and to develop an appreciation for the beauty of the land on which we learn and live.

Yued Elder Jimmy Maher – more affectionately known as Uncle Jimmy – conducted the Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony.

Uncle Jimmy said, “I’m really impressed with today and everything I see here. This is an example of a perfect school – if you can have a perfect school – because of the commitment from everyone here: from the principal right down to the gardeners.

“I’d like to thank everybody for the work they’ve put in – the garden is a tremendous piece of work. It’s where you can come and have a bit of peace, a little bit of reflection and healing.”