Following the P&C AGM in February 2020, a small team have been working to get this project off the ground. The subcommittee has been meeting weekly since April 2020 to:
- Plan the project and the co-design process;
- Select and engage the Landscape Designer, Indigenous Consultants and other specialists;
- Build key relationships with stakeholders and advisors, including the Education Directorate, school staff and parents;
- Keep staff, students and parents up to date about the project;
- Plan workshops and other events for Term 3 and beyond.
The P&C Subcommittee includes:
- Maree Wright (P&C President)
- Lucy Hannah (P&C Vice President)
- Harry Sideris (P&C Treasurer)
- Steve Sancbergs
- Belinda Henderson
The Steering Committee will be made up of two school staff, two parents, and two students. So far the Steering Committee includes:
- Maree Wright (P&C President)
- Eli Archer (Aboriginal Parent Representative)
- Tania Collis (School Principal)
The other members will be finalised early in Term 3.
Paul Barnett Design Group was successful in winning the tender to design in June 2020. PBDG is a highly experienced architectural and landscape design practice, with a long track record of designing well-loved school playgrounds across Canberra. Led by Paul Barnett, PBDG is passionate about the learning opportunities and benefits afforded to children through nature-based play. PBDG is responsible for guiding us through the design process, distilling our needs, gathering the insights and feedback of our school community to generate the masterplan and Stage 1 detailed design.
Delivering the best environmental outcomes for this space requires the best environmental advice. As we are in Ngunawal country, we are progressing this project in partnership with traditional custodians, to bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and approaches to the centre of both our co-design process and the eventual design. We view this as essential to the success of the project, as well as a learning opportunity for us all. We want Ngunawal Country to be cared for, respected and for this to be the centre of our community space. We are delighted that Uncle Tyronne Bell of Thunderstone Aboriginal Cultural Services will be guiding us on our journey to increase our cultural knowledge and understanding, and we will learn about caring for Country from an experienced and respected Ngunawal elder. Uncle Tyronne is committed to educating the wider community about Aboriginal culture and heritage, specifically the culture, history and stories of the Ngunawal people of Canberra and region. He has conducted many Aboriginal cultural programs and activities in schools, as well as a range of other organisations and experts, including Questacon, and Professor Brian Cox. He has also advised Prime Ministers and the current Governor General in Ngunawal language, and has a deep commitment to lifelong learning. You can also see Tyronne’s work at the National Arboretum. The ‘Mununja the Butterfly’ garden’s concept and design is based on the Ngunawal Dreamtime story of Mununja the Butterfly as told by his father and Ngunawal Elder Don Bell (senior).
Tyronne will be joined by Adam Shipp of Yurbay Consultancies. Adam has a long history of educating Canberrans about local bush tucker and traditional plant use, and has worked in schools for many years, designing and building bush tucker gardens, and delivering educational programs covering cultural plants, capturing traditional knowledge and how this can be utilised in contemporary society, traditional land management practices and protecting cultural sites using new technologies.
Tyronne and Adam recently created an Aboriginal food garden at Goorooyaroo, in Mulligan’s Flat Nature Reserve. You can read about the garden here: https://citynews.com.au/2020/tyronne-can-see-lots-of-bush-tucker-under-his-feet/
Education Directorate – Project Management and advice
The P&C began talking directly with the Education Directorate in 2019, and have received advice and guidance from the Executive Director or Infrastructure and Capital Works, as well as the Directorate’s Landscape Architect.
In May 2020, we were thrilled to hear that the Directorate welcomed our Proposal and project outline. the Directorate committed to funding the design for Stage 1 and is responsible for managing the contract with the landscape designer. Carole Hammond (Assistant Director – Asset Strategies | Sustainability) represents the Directorate, bringing experience in large-scale water management projects. Carole also sits on the Board of the Alliance for Water Stewardship, and will be an asset to the project.
Cultural Integrity Unit
Aunty Beth Craddy is the Manager of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, with the ACT Education Directorate. She taught at Dickson College in Canberra, has been a member of the ACT Indigenous writers group and has also been a representative for both the Federal Australian Education Union and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Committees. In 2019 she won the Australian Education Union’s Reconciliation Award.
The Cultural Integrity Officer for our cluster is Leah Brideson, a talented local artist.