The Kotara School Bush Tucker Garden is a valuable part of our Aboriginal education program and has been an integral resource in our continuing commitment to raising the cultural awareness of Kotara School students. Situated on the high ground at the back of the school it has also served the dual purpose as a calming space for students (and staff), to de-escalate in times of crisis.
The garden is made up of 4 distinct areas, the medicine cabinet, the fridge, the dry creek bed and the artefact timber area. Each of these areas are populated by indigenous plant species that where possible are specifically indigenous to the Awabakal lands upon which the school is situated. Also incorporated into the garden are a series of manmade rock structures that imbue an authenticity and cultural story to the garden. Each of the 4 distinct areas in conjunction with the rock structures perform a specific and important role in the gardens story and cultural significance.
The Medicine Cabinet
This area, as the name suggests, contains a variety of plants that were traditionally used in Awabakal remedial practices. providing a keen link to the indigenous medicinal heritage and an poignant example of the ingenuity of the local peoples medicinal lore.
Containing a wide variety of indigenous plants with edible fruits, leaves and roots this area provides both a window into traditional Awabakal food stuffs and the ecologically sound way of life of the Awabakal people. Including varieties such as Dianella, Native Ginger, Davidson Plum, Lemon Myrtle and numerous Figs .
Artefact Timber Area
This area houses a variety of Acacia and other timbers that were integral to Awabakal life, providing the local people with tools, shelter, weaponry and various artefacts used in Awabakal culture. As an educational resource this area is invaluable and provides a beautiful backdrop to the garden.
Dry Creek Bed
This area serves the dual purpose as a natural border to the bottom of the garden and as a natural history of Awabakal lifestyles. It contains many rock formations (manmade) that show , in pictorial form, examples of Awabakal people, practices and totem animals.