Students from Kalumburu Remote Community School had a powerful experience on Wunambal Gaambera Country recently, when Uunguu Rangers hosted the school’s annual Culture Camp.
This year’s camp was hailed as one of the most successful yet, with 14 students visiting Garmbemirri camp near Mungalalu Truscott Air Base for four days.
Uunguu Rangers Neil Waina, Desmond Williams, Jason Adams and Maggie Captain led the camp, with support from Dorothy Djanghara, Alphonse Cheinmora and ranger co-ordinator Lee Ritchie.
Uunguu Head Ranger Neil Waina said the camp was a valuable introduction to working on Country for young people who might wish to pursue Ranger employment in the future.
“Many of the children don’t have a good understanding of what we do on Country, so this really opens their eyes,” Mr Waina said.
School principal Carol Thorsby said the children from Year 4 through to high school level were selected on a reward and/or benefit basis.
On the road from Kalumburu, students looked at grassland revegetation work, tropical rainforest patches and collected wood for spear-making.
At camp they were welcomed with a smoking ceremony, toured the air base, made spears on the beach at Banjal, fished and visited rock art sites.
Ms Thorsby said the students were particularly interested in the art sites and the area’s historical role in World War II. She said they connected strongly with the Uunguu Ranger group, and at the end of camp each student was able to express their favourite experiences to the Rangers.
“It was quite a powerful a statement from the kids. They really honed in on the cultural experiences and their connection with the Rangers,” Mrs Thorsby said.
“The mentoring they received from the Rangers reinforced the core values we teach – to make strong smart choices about their education and their life.
“It was an excellent experience for the children on their own Country. Having the Rangers there to support us was really helpful. It was a real privilege and quite an event for them.”