Cultural tours

Cultural Tours Maclean High School Yaegl Elders.

This activity has been a major part of the School’s cultural and inclusive curriculum since 2006. Each year in Term 1 the Elders will take Year 7 students to Brooms Head and Red Cliff showing them sites of cultural significance as well as particular plants and animals that can be found in these parts of Yaegl Country.

The Elders will also tell the students stories from their childhood. These tours are very important in establishing cross generation links as well as giving all students a different perspective, the Yaegl perspective of these areas. Surveys each year indicate that the both students, staff and the Yaegl Elders find this activity very rewarding.

The cultural tours were run again this year where over 150 students and 10 staff were given the opportunity to go to Brooms Head and Red Cliff to spend some time with the Elders who were able to show them some unique features of Yaegl Country.
The groups, who went out on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, all experienced typically seasonal and sometimes inclement coastal weather. Monday’s group took cover in the Dolphin Shed at Brooms Head beach and finished their tour at the library back at school. Tuesday’s group got to the headland in between coastal showers coming from the south-east, and Friday’s group, after a watery start, had near-perfect conditions.

Students were taken to the eastern end of Brooms Head beach to look at the lagoon and how it was used as a fish trap. They then went to the top of the headland to look at the geology, which was a great source for stone axes and implements. The tour then went to the southern end of Lake Arragan to look at paperbark trees and the different plants that grow in that part of Yaraygir National Park. The tours are a very important part of the school calendar and are the beginning of thematic teaching that will occur in Year 7 from now and in Term 2, which is all part of the River of Learning program and the celebration day on 27 May 2020.

A huge thank you to Uncle Ron Heron, Aunty Glenda McPhail, Aunty Rosie Vesper, Sam Kapeen, Krystal Randall, Deborah Breckenridge and Anjanette Warburton, and all Year 7 who have displayed exemplary behaviour during all the tours.

Story contributed by Liza Hamilton from Maclean High School. Published in 2020.