It is an experimental hands-on environmental program that aims to connect our school with the Merri creek (and the Melbourne waterways system) through a series of Indigenous knowledge, art and science sustainability residencies. It is a partnership between parents, the school, East Coburg Community House and is delivered by indigenous custodians, local community groups, artists and scientists. It is funded by the Victorian Government through a successful Pick My Project grant.
It is important to learn together how to care for the land and the waters we are part of. We will learn from our local environment and the history of the place and peoples that we are part of, and extend our practices of care to the world as global citizens. This will help us respond to environmental crisis and climate change.
This program will be embedded in the school curriculum. Each learning area will have a five week Merri creek intensive, composed of two weeks learning with Indigenous Elders and artists, one week with an educator from Merri Creek Management Committee and two weeks with the artist collective Scale Free Network. We will learn through hands-on and practical experiences.
The intensive program will happen for five weeks in each learning area after lunch. This will start in Term 2 with the 1/2’s then the 5/6’s with the 3/4’s in Term 3, to finish with preps in Term 4 (Please be aware that we are still confirming and planning dates so this might be modified).
At the end of Term 4 muralist and comic artist Michael Fikaris from Silent Army will do an extended collaborative residency with teachers, families and students and this will finish with a big mural painted on one of the school walls facing Moreland Rd.
Most of the learning will happen hands-on in the Merri creek. We have partnered with East Coburg Community House who have set a “Merri Merri room” for MPS students to use as pit stop and its only two minutes’ walk to the creek. The house has toilet and kitchen facilities and a good roof in case it rains heavily. Shilo Hillman and Lee Palumbo are now running the Community House so feel free to drop by when you’re around that side of Coburg (32 Nicholson St, Coburg VIC 3058).
This program involves our community as whole. Students, teachers, parents, our local community, Merri Creek Management Committee, Scale Free Network, Slow Art Collective, Newlands and East Coburg Community House, Oekologie Studio, Michael Fikaris from Silent Army, birds, frogs, water, yam daisy and more!
HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED?
Everyone can be involved and there are many ways to contribute to make this project an exciting learning opportunity for old and young members of our community. We would love to hear your ideas, stories and suggestions. We will need parents or carers to help us walk with children back and forth the community house to school (and you’ll be able to stay and participate in the sessions!), communication, engagement, etc. *Remember* that all parent/carers helpers will need an updated Working with Children Check.
WHERE CAN I FIND YOU IF I WANT TO HELP OR HAVE QUESTIONS?
If you are a student talk to our Grade 6 Merri Creek Captains Stephanie Keays and Avinash Chandra-Pithie they are organising a student working group and are keen on hearing your ideas.
If you are a teacher, you can talk to art teacher Carley Ternes who is doing staff coordination.
If you are an interested parent or friend every Monday our coordination team and MPS mum Sarita Gálvez will be working in the Japanese Science room at school hours. On recess and lunch time they will be sharing ideas and games in the yard. Come and say hi! Otherwise, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to our wonderful collaborators, without whom this project wouldn’t exist:
Scale Free Network
Slow Art Collective
Merri Creek Management Committee
Wurundjeri Tribe Land Council
Is your child going to be away from school?
Please click the link to login to our Compass Portal and report a student
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