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Outdoor Ed Explores the History of Melbourne


In February, the two Unit 3 Outdoor and Environmental Studies classes set out on their first camps for the year. Upon arriving in Melbourne, the students visited the Murundaka Wetlands for an indigenous education talk. The focus was on the traditional custodians, the Wurundjeri people’s perceptions, interactions and impacts on the environment along the banks of the Yarra River. Next the students travelled to the suburb of Warrandyte to explore the rich gold history in the area. To extend their knowledge of the gold miners’ perceptions, interactions and impacts on the Warrandyte environment; the students river sledded down the Yarra River on purpose-built lilos. A highlight of day one was going through Pound Bend Tunnel. The tunnel is 196 metres long, six metres wide and four metres deep and was used to expose five kilometres of Yarra River bed, which could be mined for alluvial gold. At the end of the day students set up camp at Longridge Park.

After an early wakeup call, each class set out to begin bike riding along the Main Yarra Trail. Throughout the day notable features of the landscape such as the Hiedelberg Scar Tree were discussed. While having lunch at the Fairfield Boathouse the perceptions, interactions and impacts of industrialisation were discussed. To reiterate the knowledge gained earlier in the trip a talk was given at Dights Falls and the Merri Creek Junction by Meyer from Melbourne Walks. Camp was set up at the Collingwood Children’s Farm and everyone turned in early to prepare for the day to come.

The Main Yarra Trail was followed once again, all the way to Federation Square. At the Ian Potter Gallery, the perceptions, interactions and impacts of early settlers were explored through the lens of the art of the time. To end the trip, the construction of the West Gate Bridge was discussed in relation to the perceptions, interactions and impacts of the time of nation building. After a long three days bike riding along the Main Yarra Trail, the students left Melbourne from Station Pier and headed back home.

Natalie Duane, Outdoor Education Trainee