Murri School Nature camp at Carnarvon Gorge


These students travelled 11 hours to
Carnarvon Gorge to spend 6 days immersed in nature. The camping trip is part of the Murri
School’s curriculum, an Aboriginal and Islander independent community school
based in Acacia Ridge in Brisbane. Teacher Patrick McHugh has been at the
school for 7 years. He’s accompanied students to Carnarvon Gorge 6 times. It’s about learning about the bush the environment and being in an urban school gives the kids an opportunity to come out somewhere incredible and experience
a different way of living in a different environment. Being the Murri School
we’re very conscious of the protocol and community and we don’t just arrive at a
place unannounced we make sure that we connect with the people who are the
custodians of the land we get the permission to come first and foremost
make sure that the kids are welcome to country and we often have a traditional
owner accompany this with on our trips to make sure that you know we’re doing
everything culturally appropriately and we’re getting authentic learning and
experiences directly from the traditional custodians. Traditional owner
Aunty Mel is a Garingball Ghungulu woman. Coming back yeah is just like
coming back home every single time and it gives me goose bumps on the drive in
because there’s just a magic, and a powerful connection to the spiritual
place that’s connected here. The sharing of the culture of the sharing
of the knowledge is very important as well as that understanding of for
themselves their own connection and identity their own story the
understanding that coming out to places and spaces wherever you are is you know
there are protocols and there are stories and everybody’s intertwined
and interconnected and there’s a story that connects us. Students undertake a range of cultural activities. When we come here we just learn a lot more culture. It’s so good out here and so quiet and it like kind of teaches you something
,respect. Respect people and like show love to everybody, even if you really hate them. Indigenous children don’t get enough
opportunities to come out to places like this. Carnarvon Gorge supports so much
culture, language. Things that us Indigenous kids need to learn, you know,
so in the future we will have the ability to to teach our younger
generations. Otherwise in the future time everything will be forgotten and lost. Because we’re so far being in the city
they don’t give a lot of opportunities to go this far into the bush and to
really build relationships with each other. My friend, she’s not really my friend, but
anyway, well she’s like at school she doesn’t talk and like she starts to talk now so that’s like a big change, to see that. Sometimes it does though she made
me get teary-eyed because I mean today they have so many difficulties and
challenges as it is, just growing up for society and many of the kids actually
have never experienced being on the camp, let alone out
in the bush, so to see them experience it for the first time was literally like
watching my own child take their first baby steps, it’s just that magical.

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