Matraville PS Bush Tucker Garden

Matraville Public School celebrated the official opening of its Bush Tucker Garden with traditional dance and a smoking ceremony last month.

Students contributed design and planting ideas in consultation with local Indigenous and community groups, the P&C, Botanic Gardens, National Parks and a nursery.

Eastern Suburbs Life Member Jennifer Mackenja was a driving force behind its conception and establishment. Jennifer has taught at the school for many years and continues to do so as a casual teacher after her retirement.

She also helped the school successfully apply for Federation’s Tree Levy grant, and as a result of her efforts, the school now has two prize-winning gardens.

Local public schools contributed at the opening on 31 October with performances by student Indigenous dancers, didgeridoo and cultural groups from Soldiers’ Settlement Public School and Chifley Public School.

Local elders led a cleansing smoking ceremony and the Matraville school school choir sang in language. The students are already having lessons in their new “outdoor learning space”.

Paul Robson City Organiser