Students in Sue Pickles’ VCAL PDWRS class had the best possible start to their day this morning with a visit from Aboriginal Elder and proud Wakka Wakka man, Uncle Paul Chapman.

Uncle Paul shared stories of his early life in Queensland—where he lived for his first 30 years without electricity or running water—and what it was like to adjust to mainstream life.

“It was like I could feel the electricity and artificial lights in the buildings changing the way my blood flowed,” he explained.

He spoke about his research, both into his own family history and the origins of Bendigo, and urged students to make the most of their educational opportunities and to embrace technology.

“Grasp it with both hands,” he said. “Learn to research… learn Excel and Photoshop… they’re powerful tools for research.”

Uncle Paul also had a very special message for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the room.

“To be a leader in your community, you need to start right now,” he said. “It’s important to have certificates and degrees, but you also need Culture.”

The session finished with some great insights into playing the Didgeridoo, particularly how circular breathing is something we all do—when we eat and drink—without even noticing.

The Intermediate PDWRS class are working towards hosting a morning tea where students will introduce community Aunties and Uncles, including Uncle Paul, to the college leadership team.

Uncle Paul will also be running regular Didgeridoo workshops, beginning next Thursday (25th Feb), Period 3 in room G12.

See more photographs on the BSSC Facebook page