Exploring Cultural Encounters: Year 5’s Enriching Visit to Boola Bardip

Diving into an immersive learning experience, our enthusiastic Year 5 students embarked on an excursion to the Western Australian Museum Boola Bardip’s Cultural Collisions Program this week.

Our Year 5 students were transported back in time as they forged meaningful connections to the historical topics currently being studied in their Humanities & Social Sciences curriculum. Guided by the museum’s expert educators, the sessions unfolded within the thought-provoking spaces of Ngalang Koort Boodja Wirn, Connections galleries, and Learning Studios.

Venturing into the intriguing depths of the past, our students delved into the dynamics of the initial encounters between culturally diverse groups in Western Australia. Through discussions and perspectives, they pieced together the intriguing stories surrounding several prominent artifacts within the galleries:

  • Laurel Nannup’s vivid account of a ‘mysterious giant spirit bird’
  • Pinjarra Massacre Canvas titled ‘A blood Covered Landscape,’ which captures the haunting aftermath of a tragic event.
  • Tales of early interactions with the Makkasans Sea Cucumber Traders, shedding light on cross-cultural maritime exchanges.
  • The Zuytdorp Shipwreck, nestled halfway between Kalbarri and Shark Bay, embodying the complexities of maritime exploration.

The visit aimed to foster a profound comprehension of the diverse perspectives that converge around the establishment of British colonies in Australia. By witnessing history through various lenses, the students were able to grasp the profound truth that the experiences of different cultural groups in Western Australia were far from uniform.

Reflecting on their museum encounter, our students shared their insightful impressions:

Giulietta Chapman from 5.2 remarked, I thought it was good to see things and hear what it was like from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ point of view. The stories that were told I had not heard of before, and it was interesting to learn about them.”

Lily Smith from 5.3 expressed her fascination, “I found the stories interesting and the items that went with them. Also, I enjoyed exploring the museum and the interactive parts, learning more about colonisation.”

Zoe Quigley, from 5.4, shared her thoughts, “I liked listening to some of the stories about how the British people came to Australia. I enjoyed visiting the ocean gallery to view the artworks about trading with another country.”

Matilda Collins, from 5.5, revealed her takeaway, “I learned that the British killed lots of Indigenous people during the Pinjarra Massacre. I thought this was not fair as the Indigenous people had less advanced weapons, and many people lost their lives, mainly women and children.”

This immersive encounter at the WA Museum Boola Bardip is a catalyst for a more holistic understanding of Australia’s past, where different threads of history weave together to form a rich and intricate tapestry of stories.

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