A post from Al, our RAP rep, who organised a very successful event last week. And thanks to Alison and Ros for the photos.
I just wanted to provide you a quick update about an event we ran last week. In line with our goals as part of RMIT’s Reconciliation Action Plan, the School of Education organised a professional learning session. During this session we had the privilege of inviting one of the local Elders, Uncle Mik Edwards, to guide us on the Scar Tree Walk.
Overall, the walk was a resounding success. The session consisted of a pre-walk talk where staff were able to learn more about Country, its significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and also learned about the role of Country in the facilitation of learning. Once the talk was over, staff gathered under the peppercorn tree out the front of building 220 to receive a cleansing smoking and welcome from Uncle Mik before embarking on the walk.
As the staff made their way across the campus they were able to learn about the many interesting aspects of how the land was used and sustained by Aboriginal people prior to colonisation. The staff visited the scar trees located around the campus and also spent some time at the Scared Womens’ Birthing Circle Tree near the lake, and Uncle Mik also shared his experiences of being kidnapped by the Australian Government from his family as a ten year old boy.
By the end of the walk everyone was well and truly exhausted, with many questions asked and answered. The feedback has been wonderful, with one staff member describing the day as
‘a privilege, an eye opener and something I think more of the RMIT (and general) community should experience’.
There will be another scar tree walk in semester 2, so please keep an eye out for details.
A huge thank you to everyone who attended and I look forward to seeing you at more future professional learning events.