Kids On Kaurna Country

Students from primary schools around Adelaide braved a wintery day in the Parklands recently to learn about Kaurna culture and caring for country at an interactive educational event.

Hosted by the City of Adelaide, the Kids on Country Kaurna Activity Day focuses on Kaurna culture and encourages Aboriginal kids to walk on their country and learn about and share their culture with non-Aboriginal students.

The event took place a few weeks after legal recognition of the Kaurna people as native title holders over the Adelaide area.

“We see it as an important education and reconciliation event” said City of Adelaide’s Marty Reeve.

“It’s so positive now that the Kaurna people have been formally recognised, there’s that status and pride there” he said.

“These kids now, it’s even more relevant that they become familiar early on with the culture and country of the Traditional Owners for their area” he said.

The Kids on Country event featured a series of stations with different activities, from environmental education to arts and music, wodli (hut) building, traditional storytelling and live animals.

At one stall, NRM Education introduced students to “aquatic macroinvertebrates” – little water bugs and their crucial role in the local environment.

“What do you see a lot of around here” Sam from NRM asked. “Birds, that’s right, and what do they eat? Bugs! Little bugs that live in the water.”

It being a hands-on event, the kids then enjoyed carefully inspecting the mini creatures in shallow tubs of water.

Next door, students from heard a yidaki (didgeridoo) performance and some lucky kids had a go themselves.

The strange noises that were created of course had others in stiches.

Kids crowded around the Animals Anonymous stall at to see and touch a group of friendly native animals like frogs, pythons, dragons, goannas, skinks, geckos, frogmouths, parrots, squirrel gliders, long-nosed potoroos, rufous bettongs, tiger quolls, southern brown bandicoots, western pygmy possums, fat-tailed dunnarts and quokkas.

At a stall hosted by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), a staff member demonstrated making a rain garden, “a special design of garden that cleans up dirty water that washes off the road before it gets into the local creek and then the sea”.

She explained how the layering of plants and different grades of soil and gravel create an effective filter for the water that runs through urban environments.

Kids got creative on the Kids on Country activity day through weaving with the Southern Weavers and Aboriginal Family Support Services got out the paints and encouraged kids to paint on rocks in traditional styles.

by Lucy Kingston

Photo: Catherine Leo

SANTS acknowledges that the land on which our office is based is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and we respect their spiritual and cultural relationship with their country.