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Indigenous Rangers

13/06/2017
Indigenous Rangers
​Indigenous Rangers

​INGLEWOOD SS STUDENTS GET A NEW INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVE ON LEARNING

Last Thursday and Friday, Indigenous rangers from the Queensland Murray Darling Committee took Year 7 and 9 Inglewood SS P-10 students on a Cultural and Natural Resource excursion which was an absolute experience to treasure forever for all involved.

The QMDC Ranger program undertakes projects to help manage land across a variety of tenures, in partnership with traditional owners, state and local government, and private landholders.  The purpose of this particular excursion was to give students an insight into the QMDC Aboriginal Ranger activities in their daily working tasks and to complete both Geography and Science-related curriculum activities with an Indigenous perspective.

Students were treated to a short bus trip to a site of cultural significance in the local area whereupon the following three fascinating activities ensued:

Cultural: The Cultural activity showed students some grinding stones (which were used thousands of years ago to sharpen tools and weapons), along with coolamon tree cut-outs (for carrying water and small children/babies) and even a possible birthing site.  Discussions about Indigenous Culture abounded where the students asked questions and were given thought-provoking answers by the well-trained staff.  A heightened sense of respect for Indigenous culture was a clearly achieved outcome for this activity.

Water Sampling: Following the Indigenous example of respect for the environment, students were then led through a series of scientific experiments to determine how healthy our MacIntyre Brook was at that particular juncture.  Students learned to take a water sample and then test for temperature, turgidity, electrical conductivity and pHlevels.  After that, they carefully examined the water and sediment, looking for bugs, insects, in fact, any animal life which they had to classify on a dichotomous chart and determine sensitive and/or tolerant species.  Our testing proved our Brook is very healthy!

Pest Management: Finally, students were led through an activity on the pesky Myna Bird and how the rangers are trapping and disposing of them in our local area.  Local ranger, Malcolm Brown, spoke to the students about the bird’s habits and why it is categorised as a pest.  Malcolm also outlined the devastation it causes to our naturalwildlife (particularly native birds) as an introduced species to our country.  Students then had to build their own trap (requiring extraordinary skills of group cooperation) which they were proud to hear would be put to immediate use.  Some were even heard to say they were going home to build one of their own!

The entire day was well-organised and a treat for all.  From the awesome activities to the fabulous food, all agreed it was an amazing way to spend the day (even the teachers enjoyed a day away from the classroom)! For those with scientific and inquiring minds, the experience was terrific and there are no doubt some teenagers with some very different ideas on what career they might pursue when they finish school as a result.

Enormous thanks to the Indigenous Rangers and the Queensland Murray Darling Committee we were so privileged to share the day with you!