The Yarra River. It begins its journey in Mt Baw Baw on the southern slopes of the Great Dividing Range and meanders down through forested valleys, past native birds and animals grazing and feeding along its banks and dipping into its flowing waters for a drink.
Its passage then turns towards Melbourne, where its waters begin to lose their sparkle as its riverbanks turn from trees to concrete, and its creeks turn to drains. Its final stages of its journey see the river pass through Melbourne’s ports and oil refineries.
It concludes its journey muddy, full of pollution in Port Phillip Bay.
Not much of a finale for the most famous river in Victoria.
It wasn’t always this way.
Before European settlement, the Yarra River (or Birrarung as it was known to the Wurundjeri) was a major food source and meeting place for local indigenous people, the Wurundjeri people. European arrival and the establishment of Melbourne in 1835 saw big changes to the River, and actions such as land clearing and cattle grazing forced the Wurundjeri into new territories, away from the river.
Watch the video below of Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Colin Hunter Jnr. performing a Welcome to Country ceremony on the beautiful banks of Birrarung (the Yarra River) to appreciate the importance of the Yarra River to the Wurundjeri people.
Time for some research! Access the eBook ‘Exploring Aboriginal Melbourne with the Koorie Heritage Trust’ to join Stephen (Rocky) Tregonning to learn about local Aboriginal culture.
Click on the image below to access the eBook.
Step 1. Use the menu on the right to navigate to Chapter 5 and watch the clip to learn more about life on the banks or the Yarra.
Step 2. Use the menu on the right to navigate to Chapter 6 and watch the clip to learn more about what the Yarra used to look like.
Comment below to share:
What you now know about the connection the Wurundjeri people had/have with the Yarra River.
How we can make sure we look after ‘Birrarung’ for the Wurundjeri people.
As part of our Inquiry topic ‘Waterworks’ students attended an excursion to Edendale farm to learn more about sustainability and how we can all take care of our local waterways. Students participated in 4 different activities:
Water Heroes –Students learnt about how much fresh water is available to people, plants and animals on Earth…only 1% of all the water on our planet! The other 97% is salt water and 2% is frozen so we cannot access it. Students discussed ways that they can save water at home and school and learnt that we use most of our water at home in the shower. Shorter showers will help to keep our fresh water supplies healthy!
Tales of the Creek – a dramatic play in which students played different characters who all had an effect on the Diamond Creek or who were affected by pollution in the creek. Students learnt about how rain water can wash pesticides, dog poo and nasty chemicals into waterways and the damage this can cause.
Farm Tour – Students learnt about the different ways that the farm is acting sustainability. From the small dams which give a home to native animals, to the swales that catch manure before it is swept into the creek.. the farmers are passionate about protecting wildlife and the creek.
Creek Walk – Students went on a guided walk along the creek to see where the storm water drain meets the creek and some of the rubbish it beings with it. We learnt about the importance of having old trees as homes for insects, birds and sugar gliders. We also had a look at some of the creatures living in the dam which help the farmers to make sure the water is clean and the animals that live in it are healthy.
Comment below if you would like to share your favourite part of our visit to Edendale Farm.
In Week 2 we looked at rain, how different seasons have different amounts of rain and how too much rain can cause problems for communities.
This week we are going to learn about where rain goes – have you ever wondered where the rain goes? Straight after a rain storm we often see puddles but they disappear after a little while! Where do you think the rain water ends up?
A lot of rain water ends up in our rivers, lakes and streams and it brings some unpleasant stuff with it.
Watch this clip to learn more about rain water and our waterways.
Make sure you do the quiz at the end!
Comment below to share one thing you have learnt and one thing you can do to help keep our local waterways healthy.
Rain is important because humans, animals and plants need fresh water to survive. Rain adds water to rivers, lakes and streams where animals live and helps water all the plants and trees on Earth.
Seasons and Rain
The amount of rain that a place gets depends on the season – for example in Melbourne we have more rain during Winter than we do in Summer. In the Aboriginal community Numbulwar (located in the Northern territory) the seasons have a big effect on people’s lives; the food they eat and how far they can travel. For traditional indigenous people their connection with and knowledge about the land allows them to make the most of seasonal plants and animals during the ‘Wet Season’.
Watch this clip to learn about how life changes with the seasons for the residents in Numbulwar:
Comment below to share your answers to these 3 questions:
– Have you experienced weather like this?
– What problems do you think too much rain could cause?
– What are the good things about the rain coming?
The internet is a wonderful place for people to share ideas and information, play games and conduct research. There are millions of people who use the internet and it is important that everyone is mindful about their digital footprint and the type of information they share about themselves online.
Watch this video to learn more about your digital footprint:
One way that you can control the information you share online is to Avatars to represent yourself – an Avatar is a character that you can design that represents the parts of you that you would like to share online.
Students in Year 2 spend time creating their own Avatars to share specific information about themselves and hide other information. Below are some examples of Student’s work:
This week you are going back in time, to 1865 where the gold rush is in full swing and people from all over the world have traveled to the gold fields in Ballarat to try their luck at striking it rich!
Click on the image below to access the game – it might take a bit of time to load so please be patient!
Click ‘Next’ and then ‘Enter” to view the introduction video. Then you can enter into the game.
Click on the image to access the game. Or try this link http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/L702/L702/index.html#
Comment below to share your answers to these questions:
1. What is something new you learnt about the Gold Rush and the lives of Gold Miners?
2. How did the Gold Rush help to shape the Victoria we are today?
This Term the Year 2 classes made their way from the grounds of Serpell Primary School to the Schramm’s cottage Historical complex where we we learnt more about our local history and how the Doncaster area has changed over time.
Comment below to share your own experiences at Schramm’s Cottage and the surrounding historical buildings and sites.
What did you find interesting? Was there anything that shocked you?
This Term our Inquiry unit “Past in the Present” is giving us all an opportunity to explore our own family histories and the history of our local areas. It is very interesting to think about how Australia has changed and developed over time to become the country we know today. If the British had not chosen Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) as a place to send their convicts the country may very well look completely different today!
The Voyage is an online game based on real convict voyages from Britain to Van Diemen’s Land which started in 1830. You will need to make decisions, solve problems and deal with conflicts on this perilous journey across the globe to the beaches of Australia.
Click on the images to access the game or type in this web address: http://voyage.anmm.gov.au/
Comment below, to answer these questions:
What is something you have learnt about the voyages undertaken in the 1830s to bring convicts across the globe to the beaches of Australia?
What do you think Australia would be like if the British had not sent their convicts here? Would it be different or the same?