White Gum Valley PS yarning circle officially opened

White Gum Valley PS Indigenous Committee in the 'Koolbardi Waardong' garden (Magpie Crow garden/Yarning Circle) - Izzy John, Amy Edmonds and Natasha Machiel.
White Gum Valley PS Indigenous Committee in the 'Koolbardi Waardong' garden (Magpie Crow garden/Yarning Circle) - Izzy John, Amy Edmonds and Natasha Machiel.

BRINGING lessons learnt in the classroom to the outdoors is what White Gum Valley Primary School’s new yarning circle garden is all about.

The school officially opened the garden this month and named it after the crow and the magpie or Koolbardi Waardong in the Noongar language.

White Gum Valley PS teacher and member of their Indigenous committee and Izelle John said the P&C had put the garden together after a parent had petitioned for it.

“It has lots of bush tucker plants, we invited an Aboriginal elder Marie Taylor to do a welcome to country and have a smoking ceremony,” she said.

“The kids heard some stories and witnessed the smoking ceremony and got to walk through it, they were all really impressed.”

Teacher Amy Edmonds said the space was a reflective area for the children to interact with local tradition.

“We have stepping stones, each one represents the Noongar seasons,” she said.

“It’s just a way to get the children interacting in a very respectful and safe environment.”

She said the children had really taken to the new garden.

“Symbolising it in a very interactive and tactile place where children can go and interact has allowed it to be very accessible to everybody,” she said.

“We are hoping to eventually have plants that follow the seasonal timeline and bloom in those times, it’s a visual representation of what we have been trying to teach them.”

The Indigenous committee hopes to create a mural and to continue to expand Noongar language lessons.