Balga Senior High School students celebrate Aboriginal culture through dance and new garden

Premier Mark McGowan and Nollamara MLA Janine Freeman with Balga SHS students Tiansha Hill, Tyreece Bynder, Nikiyah Buther and Braden Garlett. Picture: Kristie Lim
Premier Mark McGowan and Nollamara MLA Janine Freeman with Balga SHS students Tiansha Hill, Tyreece Bynder, Nikiyah Buther and Braden Garlett. Picture: Kristie Lim

BALGA Senior High School students showcased the school’s rich Aboriginal culture through the launch of an Aboriginal Culture Garden and traditional dances during a visit from the Premier.

Premier Mark McGowan and Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman were welcomed by Girls Academy students’ Yarning Circle dance before walking through the newly-finished garden, outdoor classroom and an Aboriginal art class yesterday.

The visit wrapped up with a traditional dance circle by a group of boys.

The State Government gave the school with $50,000 to complete the garden which included medicinal plants, bush tucker plants, student workshop space, seasons space, outdoor classroom, acknowledgement of country plaques and new buildings.

Principal Mark Carton said students would continue to improve the garden, which focused on “living and breathing”.

“The other thing about this project is that predominately Aboriginal students are involved in it but we have had non-Aboriginal students come out there and show an interest,” she said.

Mr McGowan said he had been wanting to visit Balga schools for some time.

“It has been a while since I have managed to get here,” he said.

“The programs that are being run here are all about engaging students in education and connecting indigenous kids with their heritage and culture and therefore engaging them at school and making sure school is seen as important and relevant.

“It is an important improvement to Balga Senior High School.”

Ms Freeman said the school had several programs that made students feel included.

Meanwhile, Mr McGowan also visited Warriapendi Primary School, Wadjak Northside Resource Centre – where he presented a Lotterywest grant of $123,376 –and Matt Williams Reserve for a Fun in the Park event.