Year 12 Community Services students had an amazing 24-hour experience on Wednesday and Thursday, exploring significant Aboriginal sites in the Vaughan/Glenluce area near Castlemaine. Their guide was Ron Murray, a proud Wamba Wamba man from the Swan Hill region who has lived at Yapeen for the past 16 years.

Ron shared stories around the campfire on Wednesday evening at Warburton Bridge camping ground by the Loddon River. He played a variety of didgeridoos – including one made from a car exhaust system and another from plumbing pipe – and invited students to imagine the area and the Indigenous way of life before the arrival of white Australians.

Thursday was spent exploring significant Aboriginal sites, including stones at Vaughan Springs that were hand-carved for sharpening spears and grinding seed, and a giant, centuries-old tree that marks a sacred site at Guildford. The day concluded with boomerang throwing on the Guildford oval with many students showing incredible skill. Ron is a former Queensland Boomerang Champion and was blown away by the skill of our students.

Ron is an amazing storyteller and really brought the area and its Indigenous stories to life for our students, challenging their perceptions of Indigenous Australians and creating a context of relationships between Indigenous people and ‘mainstream’ Australia.

Ron described our students as “a wonderful group of young people”. They certainly represented the college with great maturity and respect.

See video highlights of the camp at: