Nollamara Primary School dedicates nature playground to respected Aboriginal educator May O’Brien

Nollamara Primary School student Abby Jancovich
Matthew McGuire.
Nollamara Primary School student Abby Jancovich Matthew McGuire.

NOLLAMARA Primary School students can experience nature, play and Aboriginal culture at their newly-launched playground next term.

The school launched its nature playground, which features native plants, wooden musical instruments, a mud kitchen, a tunnel, a rock sand pit and a long table, last month.

Morley MLA Amber-Jade Sanderson helped the school secure a $60,000 State Government grant to build the playground.

It is named after former teacher and Aboriginal educator May O’Brien, who was the first Aboriginal woman to graduate from a tertiary institution, Claremont Teacher’s College, in WA.

She took up her final teaching job at the school in 1971.

Principal Natalie Tarr said Mrs O’Brien taught her at Nollamara when she was in Year 3.

“May O’Brien is still alive now, she is in her 80s and she was born in Laverton and at the age of five she was removed to Mt Margaret Mission,” she said.

“She is in a nursing home, so we showed her last year and she knew that the playground was going to be named after her.

“Her favourite flower was the orange banksia, so we have got that on either side of the entrance for the nature playground.”

She said the school was looking to add more elements to the playground, including a climbing feature.