Reconciliation Resource: New ‘Care for Country’ RAP Action!
Over the years, and throughout the recent Narragunnawali Awards nomination review process, we’ve learned about the creative ways in which many schools and early learning services have extended their commitment to acknowledge Country, by proactively caring for Country/place. From engaging pre-schoolers in lobbying local council to install rubbish bins to to whole-school native plant regeneration projects, the Narragunnawali team is certainly inspired by the environmentally sustainable work of schools and early learning services across Australia – so much so that we are excited to release a new Care for Country RAP Action on the Narragunnawali platform!
The Care for Country RAP Action focuses on the importance of building relationships with community to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ concepts of, connections to, and care for Country/place, so as to ultimately build students’ personal sense of responsibility for looking after the lands, seas and skies amidst which they live and learn. In doing so, the RAP Action draws on the meaningful interrelationship between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures and Sustainability cross-curriculum priorities to foster the development of socially and environmentally responsible citizens of the future.
No matter where you are in Australia, and no matter whether you and your family have been in Australia for five minutes, five years, five decades or across multiple generations, what unites us all is that we are all standing on Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Land. Recent scientific findings suggest that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have sustainably lived with the Land for more than 120,000 years, and the continued imperative to care for Country/place is now part of our shared history and future. With thousands of years of intergenerational knowledge of, and sustainable co-existence with the Land, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – the world’s first scientists and geographers – are thus increasingly being turned to in understanding and addressing some of the biggest environmental questions and challenges of our modern times.
The Caring for Country RAP Action is designed to support your school or early learning community to begin tackling some of these questions and challenges, through linking to aligned Narragunnawali professional learning and curriculum resources, as well as to external resources of relevance such as the ABC’s Acknowledgement of Country Play School episode for young children, and Bruce Pascoe’s Young Dark Emu publication, and ABC Education’s digibook also based on Pascoe’s workfor primary and secondary aged students. Furthermore, the Action includes a number of practical ‘Ideas for Action,’ ranging from planting a reconciliation garden as an anchor point for learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges of, and care for, bush foods, medicines and wildlife, to inviting students to support campaigns such as those coordinated through Seed – Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth climate network— or take part in (inter)national days of significance such as Clean up Australia Day or Earth Hour.
To learn more, and to make an whole-school or service commitment to care for Country, visit: https://www.narragunnawali.org.au/rap/actions/47/care-for-country