Following a visit from Goodooga Central School students and staff two weeks ago, a group of IGS Year 6 students is visiting Goodoga as part of the Schools Walking Together intercultural immersion program.
The Year 6 students shared their thoughts on the first three days of this experience:
Tuesday 6 June
We were excited as we jumped on the bus in Gadigal Country, ready for the journey ahead of us. The company and a little creativity kept us entertained on the long bus ride. There may have been some singing too. We gazed out the window and saw small towns and big open spaces of Wiradjuri Country. Spotting sculptures of animals riding a bicycle was a highlight. We arrived early at Dubbo which meant we had time to explore and learn more about the zoo’s residents. Meerkats, elephants, and a hippo that did flips so that we nicknamed her Flippo. We laughed at the Gibbons and their wild calls, we even tried to call back. After dinner it was time for our night safari, so we put on our head torches and ventured into the dark. We saw koalas, wallabies, echidnas, emus and the happiest animal alive, the quokka. The night began to get a little chilly, so we ended our day gathered by the camp fire on the billabong. We roasted marshmallows of course. We are looking forward to meeting new friends as we head off next for Goodooga.
Wednesday 7 June
After a tiring bus ride, we were excited as we finally achieved the final milestone of our trip to Goodooga. We triumphantly posed for a photo next to the sign, signalling the border of Goodooga. We slowly cruised into the community of Goodooga while observing the contrast between Sydney and Goodooga. After being greeted, we carried our luggage and other heavy materials. We were shown to our rooms and quickly set up our resting place for the week. Hastily, we packed our swimming gear for the bore baths and lined up for the gates, eager for the experience. We set off for the bore baths with a grin smeared over our faces. In the distance we spotted the hot steam arising in the air. We got to the bore baths and entered into the tremendous heat. The water seemed to boil us like hot potatoes. Then we got changed and returned to the school. We exhaustedly slumped onto the benches and waited for dinner. We received a yummy chicken curry made by Aunty Mindy. While eating, a friendly dog appeared. As it got darker, we ambled towards the field to stargaze. The tapestry of the night sky filled with glittering stars mesmerised us. Soon before lights out we got ready for bed and settled ready for a good night’s sleep.
Thursday 8 June
The next morning we enthusiastically jumped out of bed ready for the new day. For breakfast we ate scrambled eggs on toast with cereal. We joyfully played with the Goodooga students. Then we had a singing session with Auntie Mindy learning a version of Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in Yuwaalaraay language. Afterward we were split up in four groups. We spent time with students in primary and had talks with two teachers about Aboriginal culture and life in Goodooga; this was interesting. Afterward we made jewellery with four students at the School. Soon it was lunchtime and we ate wraps and sandwiches. After lunch we learnt some Indigenous dances. Then it was time for some Indigenous games, this was especially unique since it had been raining and extra muddy. Therefore, we took our shoes off to enjoy the mud. By the end we were all filthy mud monsters. Luckily, next on the schedule, it was bore bath time. However, before we left, we thanked Goodooga Central School for letting us stay at their school. At the bore baths we were relieved to be properly clean. Then we ate some yummy spaghetti and then had some time to chill after a long exiting day. Then it was time for a long-needed rest remembering the new friends we had made.
Schools Walking Together is based on the vision of encouraging friendships between communities while privileging Aboriginal perspectives and voices through on Country learning, with the goal of enhancing the education and learning of staff and students alike. The program’s name comes from its goal of allowing schools and communities walking together in the spirit of reconciliation.
This immersion program was founded by International Grammar School and Goodooga Central School in partnership with Connecting Communities Australia. This is the third visit IGS has made out on Yuwaalaraay Country and is an extremely rich Aboriginal cultural immersion.
We look forward to hearing more about the student’s Goodooga learning and adventures next week!
Images from Day 1
Images from Day 2
Images from Day 3