Red Earth Indigenous immersion

An adventure in the outback provided a unique opportunity for boys to engage with the rich heritage of First Nations peoples.


During the Term I holidays, twenty boys from Form V and VI, along with three members of staff, ventured to south-west New South Wales for a six-day indigenous immersion experience with Red Earth.

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The memorable tour was led by generous Indigenous hosts, who provided us with the opportunity to engage in Indigenous cultural practices beyond the scope of the classroom environment.

In doing so, we learnt about the considerable struggles of First Nations peoples in obtaining autonomy over their land. Specifically, our interactions with Mutthi Mutthi and Barkandji elders enabled us to understand their current frustrations regarding the fact that the remains of many of their early ancestors have been removed from traditional land for the purposes of archaeological studies, a practice which grossly misaligns with Aboriginal burial laws. Despite this, in light of the recent return of Mungo Woman and Mungo Man to Lake Mungo, our Indigenous guides communicated an unwavering sense of hope that more ancestral remains will be returned and re-buried in the near future.

Over the six-day period of our tour, we were fortunate enough to participate in a range of activities which were foreign to most of us; and as a collective, everyone endeavoured to embrace each and every immersive experience.

Some highlights included participating in a Welcome to Country Ceremony; hiking through stunning, sand-swept terrain with a local Indigenous park ranger, Ivan, who graciously shared his knowledge of bush tucker and animal tracks with us; learning about the rich history of the land through the analysis of ancient campfires, bones, and footprints; fishing along the Murray River; and watching radiant sunrises in the serenity of dawn’s silence.

We thoroughly enjoyed preparing our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and by the end of our tour in the Australian Outback we came to see ourselves as culinary connoisseurs.

Perhaps the most fulfilling experience of the entire immersion was conversing with all the different people we met along the way, each of whom had unique backgrounds and fascinating stories to share. I am sure my peers would share my view that the Red Earth tour was an impactful experience that allowed us to develop a heartfelt appreciation of our Indigenous people and their deep connection to the land.

Noah Blumberg (V)