North Parmelia Primary buddy bench to create caring attitudes


Kahdine Paengamoeke, Troy McCue, Skye Pryce, artist Conroy Nathan, Jamie Fletcher, Erwin Dostanovic and Nikita Gilchrist with (in front) Kiana McCartney, Jayden Simpson and Jordan Anderson.
Kahdine Paengamoeke, Troy McCue, Skye Pryce, artist Conroy Nathan, Jamie Fletcher, Erwin Dostanovic and Nikita Gilchrist with (in front) Kiana McCartney, Jayden Simpson and Jordan Anderson.

STUDENTS at North Parmelia Primary School will soon have a buddy bench to help include their classmates who might be struggling.

Art teacher Lisa Gilewski hoped the bench would help children who might feel left out at recess and lunch.

“The idea behind the buddy bench is that we’ve noticed some of the junior primary students have looked a little bit lonely or lost and didn’t have anyone to play with… then they go and sit on the buddy bench, the other students will notice them and ask them if they’d like to be included,” she said.

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The idea behind it is to incorporate the natural environment so featured on the buddy bench are two honey possums, the banksia and the gum nuts and things like that from the local environment, as well as some Aboriginal artwork.”

Curtin University artist-in-residence Conroy Nathan helped assist the school with the design of the buddy bench.

In the final year of his fine arts degree, Mr Nathan said working with children really opened his eyes.

“It has given me a new perspective on my career and what I would like to pursue in the future,” he said.