Children help build an Aboriginal bark canoe

Children help build an Aboriginal bark canoe

Building canoes and communities

On Wednesday 25 September children from one of Early Start’s Engagement Centres, Noogaleek Children's Centre in Berkeley, along with visitors from the Discovery Space, built a traditional bark canoe with Aboriginal community members.

The Roads and Maritime Services-led initiative aimed to raise awareness about boating safety issues faced by Aboriginal community, while also helping to bring the community together to learn from each other.

Early Start Discovery Space along with UOW’s Woolyungah Indigenous Centre facilitated the day-long boating safety education program, which involved building a traditional Aboriginal bark canoe.

Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation, various Indigenous high school students, Department of Education and NSW Maritime came together to join in the project.

Matt Ball, Early Start Community Program Coordinator said, “It was so wonderful to see the community working together today, the children loved learning from the elders and contributing to achieve a common goal.”

Pro-Vice Chancellor (Inclusion and Outreach) Professor Paul Chandler said “The canoe-building exercise is an authentic learning experience for all involved and is just one example of how we are slowing changing UOW into a culturally rich learning environment.”

Discovery Space visitors will soon be able to view the finished canoe, which will be gifted back to UOW.