Angela Eucalypts Australia’s gum trees can guide student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking entry for STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) as well as Law and Language. A three minute video - Gum tree learning: Inspiring primary educators to teach with Australian eucalypts produced by Merri Creek Management Committee provides teacher support for the cross-cultural curriculum priority (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures). Use it in the classroom and pause to focus on different elements.

In 2017 Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) received a grant from Eucalypt Australia to run a series of professional development sessions and develop education materials so that educators could focus on the cultural and ecological values of gum trees within the Australian school curriculum. This film is a snapshot from the Merri Creek Catchment to promote teaching with eucalypts throughout Australia. We encourage educators to connect gum trees with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders histories and cultures.

1963 petition 11963 petition 2
These 1963 petitions are painted on bark from the gadayka tree (stringybark gum) and are the first Aboriginal documents accepted by the Australian Commonwealth Parliament. They were sent to Parliament by clan groups from the indigenous community at Yirrkala in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory of Australia. The bark petitions are written in two Yolŋu languages (Dhuwa moiety on the left and Yirritja moiety on the right) with an English translation beneath and Yolngu imagery. (With permission from Buku-Larrnggay, Mulka Centre, Nhulunbuy and the House of Representatives, Canberra.)

gumtreelearning3Merri Creek runs through Wurundjeri Country in Melbourne. Within our catchment area gum trees have various names such as Be-al in the Traditional Owner’s Woiwurrung language, River Red Gum and Eucalyptus camaldulensis.

gumtreelearning4Wurundjeri are the Manna Gum and freshwater people who continue to tell stories about special places to meet and learn. Here is Wurundjeri Elder, Uncle Colin Hunter (Jnr), with school students on excursion at the Merri Creek and Birrarung (Yarra River) confluence in 2017.

gumtreelearning5Students measure, draw, enjoy, map and observe local gum trees.