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This week we welcomed Uncle Ivan-Tiwu Copley OAM to the College to work with our Year 7 classes in Geography. Uncle Ivan is a Kaurna and Peramangk Elder who has blessed us many times with his knowledge during National Reconciliation Week and guiding students on cultural tours through Wadmore Park. He was the 2009 South Australian of the Year and his very long resume of consultancy and education work that has benefited many local, state and national programs and initiatives.

During the past few weeks Year 7 students have been looking at past and present use of the Athelstone school site as part of their “Liveability” unit. This includes the use of the landscape by Kaurna people pre- and early- colonisation, as pastoral land in the early to mid-20th Century and since the 1970s as our school. On Monday and Tuesday the students walked around with Uncle Ivan and learned about many interesting facets of the area including the importance of the creek as a water/food source and travelling route to and from the Karrawirra Parri (River Torrens), the use of significant trees as markers, vantage points, places of birth and death as well as the medicinal qualities of vegetation found in the school yard. Hopefully this has helped our students develop a keener appreciation of the special connection Kaurna and First Nations people share with Country as well as how we can continue to take care of the natural environment around the school site.

Thank you to Geography Curriculum Coordinator Mr Angelo Picca and all of the Year 7 Geography teachers for warmly welcoming Uncle Ivan this week.

Victoria Coxhill
Aboriginal Education Coordinator

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