School bush garden to stregthen Aboriginal ties

Carolyn Briggs (centre) with indigenous families and Altona Meadows primary school pupils. (Supplied)

Pupils of Altona Meadows Primary School have planted a bush garden in a bid to strengthen ties between Aboriginal students and the local Indigenous community.

School gardener Tarius McArthur worked with volunteer Veronica Gregoric to develop a native mini-grassland, aquatic area and bush-foods feature garden, and members of the community pitched in to help.

Mr McArthur said grade 6 pupils researched the indigenous flora and fauna of Hobsons Bay to compare historical Aboriginal sustainability practices with modern land use and practices.

“They wanted to create what you’d find 40,000 years ago if you stepped from a time machine,” he said.

Boon Wurrung elder Carolyn Briggs conducted a welcome-to-country ceremony before Sunday’s planting.

Principal Bill Reid said the school’s new garden would be an interactive education tool.

“We see the garden as an education tool for learning about the local native flora and fauna and much more,” he said.