Two groups of enthusiastic walkers enjoyed fine weather and good company as they took to the paths, grasslands and bush tracks around the Central Coast campus earlier this month.
Led by Aboriginal Cultural Educator Gabby Duncan and Darkinjung Sites, Culture and Heritage Officer Deb Swan, the groups gathered for a welcome and smoking ceremony as all walkers were introduced to the ceremonial protocols of entering country before being taken on an educational walk and talk experience.
Staff and students from the University of Newcastle, TAFE NSW - Hunter Institute and the Central Coast Community College took part in the walks. All expressed their enjoyment of the hands-on experience of getting to know the Aboriginal history of their place of learning and work.
Native plant identification, bush tucker tasting, stories of old Nourimbah and its educational site history for Darkinjung people were all on the agenda for discussion and learning.
A number of the participants expressed their enjoyment of the Gibalee initiative to hold the Nourimbah Walk through emails and personal comments:
- Simon from the Faculty of Science and IT said "...excellent walk, immensely enjoyable and educational, when can we do it again?"
- Sally Butler from the Faculty of Health stated "Thank you for arranging this walk. It was a privilege to learn about the traditional uses of this land."
Staff from the Faculty of Education and Arts expressed great interest in expanding the Nourimbah Walk to become part of teacher education programs. TAFE has similarly expressed interest in developing local Aboriginal cultural experience for Hospitality and Tourism, Early Childhood and Health and Welfare studies students.
The Nourimbah Walk was a great success and Gibalee will be offering further walks and other cultural insight activities in the very near future.