Last week, the students of the year 2 neighbourhood made the short trip down to the Melbourne Museum. The focus of our excursion was to visit the First People’s exhibit – Bunjilaka – on the ground floor and the students went in with the big questions “What is Culture” and “What special things go into making a culture”.
The students started the session on the welcome rug, where our guides Pippa and Catherine did the welcome to country and acknowledgement of traditional owners ” I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land [or country] on which we are meeting. I pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and the Elders from other communities who may be here today”.
The students were lucky enough to work through the program designed for older students – where they got to use the Book Creator app on the iPad and create their own stories about the First People’s Exhibit.
Upon entering the exhibit the students were introduced to the interactive language map, where the guides explained to the students about the numerous Aboriginal languages within Victoria. When the students pressed the message stick poles, “Welcome” was spoken to them in the language that was unique to that specific area. When people from various tribes moved from area to area, they needed to ask for permission and then send a messenger with a message stick to inform the new area of their language.
Next we visitied the giant nest of Bunjil, the wedge tailed eagle, who the Kulin Nation believed was their creator and spiritual leader
The nest housed a marvellous kinetic sculpture that represents Bunjil’s wings. As it moved and glowed, Koorie Elders spoke of Bunjil singing the Country, Law and people of the Kulin nation into being.
The students then moved out into Many Nations Objects. Many Nations contains nearly 500 objects from across Australia, showcasing the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The cases are displayed in six sections: Animal Creations, Marking Identity, Working Country, Celebrating Culture, Keeping Places and Toy Stories.
They were encouraged to wander around and find things that caught their eye.
Students continued to add to their Book Creator Story, talking and sharing thoughts and ideas with each other.
Below are some of the final products! More will be placed on the blog when we get them. The kids used the app BOOK CREATOR to share their stories.
The students will continue to explore the concept of culture over the next few weeks, initially focussing on the Aboriginal culture they experienced at the museum, to then applying their knowledge and understanding to various other cultures around the world.