Beeliar News: Pop Neville’s Visits to TA3 & TA4

On Thursday 6th August TA3 and TA4 were very fortunate to have a visit from Aboriginal Elder Neville Collard. He is the Great Grandfather of Levi from Miss Claessen’s class.

First, Levi introduced his Pop Neville and he welcomed us to country in Nyungar. Then, Pop Neville taught us about our native animals and we learnt their Nyungar names. Some of the animals were yonga (kangaroo), booladalung (pelican), maali (black swan) wardung (crow) and weitj (emu). Pop Neville also told us a story from the Dreamtime about how the Maali (black swan) came to have black feathers and a red beak. We also discovered the Nyungar meaning of the word, ‘Beeliar’, which is ‘creek’.

Pop Neville brought some yonga skins along and a Native Indian headdress made with Western Australian feathers which we all had fun trying on. We then went into the wet area where our hand was painted in the colours of the Aboriginal flag and we put our handprint onto the skin of a yonga.

The students and staff of TA3 and TA4 would like to thank Pop Neville and Levi very much for coming and teaching us about their Nyungar culture.

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Pop Neville returned on Monday 10th August to make damper. First we washed our hands and went out into the wet area. Pop Neville added self raising flour, warm water and milk to the bowl. Levi and Pop Neville mixed the damper. Then the damper was turned out on to a tray and flattened. After it looked like a pancake, Miss Salinas put the damper into the oven for 25 minutes to cook. Pop Neville explained how Nyungar people would cook it in a fire. Soon everyone smelt a delicious smell and Pop Neville broke the damper into many pieces. He kindly brought plum jam, golden syrup, butter and honey and the children and teachers were able to choose which topping they would like on their damper. Everybody said it was the best damper that they had ever tasted!

The students returned to TA4 and Pop Neville showed us weapons and tools such as a kylie (boomerang) which is used to hunt yonga, a woomara (spear thrower) and he showed us a bowl that was around 100 years old. We had to try to guess what the carving on the bowl represented and finally Pop Neville told us it showed a map.

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