News & Events >> December 2005
Earth Journeys Finish Year on a High
Page 39, Blue Mountains Gazette, 14 December 2005
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The team from the Blue Mountains’ leading world heritage
enviro-cultural education project have finished the year on a high
having just been awarded an official 'Cultural Partnership' from the
Blue Mountains City Council.
Project Manager Bronwen Maxwell, said “the partnership and funding from
council will assist them in the further development of next year's
“ We are extremely grateful for Council's support,” said Ms Maxwell.
The cultural partnership follows on from Earth Journeys being a recent
recipient of Keep Australia Beautiful (NSW) Sustainable Cities 2005
" Earth Journeys is also
fortunate in having partnership support from the Blue Mountains World
Heritage Institute, as well as support from a local business, Watson's
Hardware, Blackheath" said Ms Maxwell.
After a highly successful and visible pilot project in 2004, involving
2,348 students from 16 primary public schools throughout the Blue
Mountains, Earth Journeys recently completed a special pilot program at
a primary school in the Penrith region.
Four hundred students from York Public spent a term participating in a
specially created program developed by Earth Journeys in partnership
with Penrith Schools District Department of Education and Training
(DET) and supported by Penrith City Council.
The program included a 'Tree Story Introduction' with renowned mountain
ecologist Wyn Jones and Chris Tobin ( Darug traditional owner),
engaging children with stories told from an indigenous and
non-indigenous perspective, about the school's “icon” gumtree, the grey
Another component of the
program included Aboriginal Cultural Sharing, co-ordinated by Chris
Tobin leading one-hour story and dance sessions for students.
These classes enabled students to experience, through the movement of
their bodies, the creation story dance and stories of the creatures
found in the local riverenvironment.
The enviro-art workshops component explores a fusion between the arts
and sciences. Under the guidance of professional artist Heather Jones
and environmentalist Christine Hill-Butler, the workshops culminated in
the creation of innovative sculptural representations of the Grey Box
gumtrees, the local river landscape eastern water dragons and
long-necked turtles. The exhibition celebration took place during the
school's annual public Christmas Market night.
Students in Years 5& 6 were involved in the Boundaries field trip
to Euroka in the Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park at
“The program run at York Public was a wonderful success,” said Ms Maxwell.
Earth Journeys aims to instil in students a 'sense of place' and a
sense of wonder about the natural and cultural landscapes of this
amazing and valuable world heritage environment in which we live.
Click to Enlarge
This Photo: A Journey
of Discovery. Standing in front of one of the sculptural trees, a
flowering grey box eucalypt, is the Earth Journeys team, from left: Bronwen
Maxwell, Mike Chirgwin, Heather Jones, Chris Tobin, Christine
Hill-Butler and Wyn Jones at the exhibition celebration at York Public
School in the Penrith Schools District.
Photos: Keith Maxwell
For more information about Earth Journeys programs in primary schools phone 4787-5003