What a fantastic way to start our interfaith week by exploring Aboriginal Australia, its culture and heritage. As you are all aware Wybunbury Delves, as part of CDAT, has pledged to support a campaign of North West schools to raise funds for rebuilding and resources for Clifton Creek Primary School, in Victoria which was destroyed in the wildfires. Naturally this has raised many questions for the children as they have watched the news and so to help them have a greater understanding of the country and the indigenous people that live there, we have invited Education Group to host a series of workshops for all the children.
Using virtual reality, we have been transported to places we would not easily be able to visit if we were there in person, so to speak. Australia's indigenous culture is one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world and we were privileged to join the Pamagirri Aboriginal group in the Far North Queensland rainforest for their welcome, war and snake dance. Dancing is a highly valued skill within their culture and great pride is shown by those participating.
It was fascinating to learn about the aboriginal beliefs on creation and compare with the Christian belief. Aboriginal Australians refer to the Creation time as "Dreamtime". The Dreaming laid down the patterns of life for the Aboriginal people. Creation is believed to be the work of culture heroes who travelled across a formless land, creating sacred sites and significant places of interest in their travels.
We even managed to squeeze in some interactive educational games, completing a bush tucker experience to look for plants that could be used for food or medicine and throwing a boomerang.
"What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back? .... A Stick!
We had a few sticks that needed retrieving!