Creating an Indigenous food garden for Enviroweek fulfills dual science and faith roles for Tennison Woods College students and teacher, Bernadette Fisher.
As the senior faith-in-action coordinator at the Catholic school, Bernadette’s focus is on demonstrating how we are guardians of the earth.
“Our curriculum focuses on fostering ecological stewardship – looking after God’s creation. That’s very easy combine with my science and environmental roles,” explains Bernadette.
“It’s only when children have a love of the environment that they will take steps to protect it. A garden provides that opportunity to connect with nature. Students play, pray, explore and gain an appreciation and love of the nature in a garden.”
“Enviroweek is the perfect opportunity to create a garden space for students to appreciate and connect with nature.”
The garden space, at the front of the school for people to walk through, will be created to tell the local indigenous story ‘The Legend of the very first Kangaroo’.
‘Cool Burning’ is an online professional development course that equips secondary teachers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to teach about the importance of Traditional Knowledge in caring for Country.
Making a start
The project began with a Bernadette’s environmental leadership group of four Grade 5 and 6 students who decided on indigenous garden project.
Bernadette widened the brief to indigenous food to include Year 3 Sustainability Food Group.
And the whole school, 1300 students from Foundation to Year 12, will join in the final planting and celebrations during Enviroweek.
“It’s great to have projects that get the whole school involved. The vision is for every student to plant a seed and watch that grow into garden they enjoy with the community.”
Community connection helps
Inspiration for the project came from a visit to nearby Millicent High School to explore their existing nursery and Indigenous garden. “We came back full of ideas!”
Funding, support and advice has come from the science department, local Indigenous Land Care Officer, Glenelg Nature Trust and the Education Department.