By Angela Norval
Elliott Heads State School students have been treated to the guidance and expertise of well-known landscape architect Lawrence Smith.
Principal Nichola Lister said Lawrence was a celebrity in the world of landscape architectural design so to have him visit the school was a great privilege.
“Lawrence has made a huge impact on the school community during the two days he was here looking over the bushland with students and also for our information session,” she said.
“When I first started at the school the bushland area was fenced off and the neighbouring property used the area for their horses.
“I knew it had great potential to be an outdoor learning area that the children could use and working with our indigenous liaison officer Mr Dean Lillyman, we formulated a plan to convert the area into a unique environmental space for the students to experience.
“To have a world renowned expert in Lawrence donate his time and knowledge to making our dreams into a reality is phenomenal and we are extremely grateful.”
The children are loving their bushland area and excited to be a part of the planning and construction of the school’s unique bush tucker forest.
Working with Lawrence Smith they marked out the walking tracks and learnt so much from him.
“When planning this bush tucker trail and bushland area, beginning with meetings in September 2020, at every opportunity local elders and community members have come together to work on plans,” she said.
“It was fantastic to have Jacquie Hazel and Russell Geary to provide information on local edible plants that they have housed at their nursery.
“Dean as the grounds officer, teacher aide and indigenous liaison officer has this semester been co-teaching the Australian curriculum to provide an indigenous perspective and insight into first nation people’s history and culture.
“Also with the BundaWanDi Rangers, Dean works with the indigenous students for weekly lessons to delve further into their own culture and work on projects around the school that improves the environment for all students.
“All students throughout the school have opportunities to work with the BundaWanDi Rangers and they enjoy it immensely as they work with the vegetable gardens and chickens ensuring all our food scraps don’t go to waste.”
Elliott Heads State School welcomes any landscapers, nurseries, men’s sheds or community groups to be a part of their bushland community either through volunteering or donations.