Makuru Season (Jun - Jul 2023)
It's a RAP! – Centre's Reflect RAP Plan Accepted
We are thrilled to announce that The Wetland Centre's Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) has been conditionally endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. We are now in the process of RAP preparing the final document to be formally endorsed and officially accredited by Reconciliation Australia, which will lead into the Centre being recognised as a member of the RAP network This significant milestone marks our commitment to advancing reconciliation and fostering meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We congratulate our RAP team and Elders who made this possible and want to thank them for working with us, contributing their wisdom and committing their time to help us achieve this milestone.
The Conditional Reflect RAP represents our dedication to acknowledging and respecting the traditional custodians of the land on which our Centre operates. It outlines a series of actions that will be implemented to promote cultural awareness, understanding, and engagement within our organization and the broader community. This is the first step on the Centre's journey towards reconciliation, which is long due and we feel privileged and blessed to be a part of it.
Through this RAP, we strive to create an inclusive and culturally respectful environment that recognizes the rich heritage and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We will actively seek opportunities to collaborate and engage with local Indigenous Elders, organisations and communities, ensuring their voices are heard and respected in all aspects of our work.
We understand that reconciliation is an ongoing journey, and this acceptance of our Conditional Reflect RAP is just the beginning. We remain committed to continuous learning, growth, and genuine efforts towards reconciliation. By working together, we can build stronger relationships, promote equality, and contribute to a more united and inclusive society.
We express our sincere gratitude to Reconciliation Australia for their guidance and support throughout this process. We also extend our sincere appreciation to the Indigenous community for their wisdom, teachings, and ongoing partnership. Together, we can walk hand in hand towards a future of understanding, respect, and reconciliation.
Geographical Exploration –
Centre's first-ever geography workshop
In an exciting first, a groundbreaking geography class and field trip recently took place at the Centre. This provided an immersive learning experience for Year 12 students of John Curtin College of the Arts. This unique educational endeavour allowed students to delve deep into the captivating history of Walliabup, uncovering the rich history of land use changes from Indigenous times through European settlement to Urbanisation to the present-day use of the area as a Wetlands Precinct. The workshop proved to be an enlightening journey, immersing students in the ecological tapestry of the wetlands and broadening their understanding of the intricate relationship between the environment and human interactions.
A resounding success: World Environment Day Schools Celebration at the Centre
The Wetlands Centre, in collaboration with the City of Cockburn and WA Wildlife, hosted a remarkable event on 9th June 2023 to celebrate World Environment Day. With nearly 300 participants from 10 schools, it was a full house! Despite the rainy weather, we set the stage for a day filled with engaging sessions and activities focused on environmental education and conservation.
The day commenced with a welcome to Country by Aunty Marie. She also conducted sessions where attendees immersed themselves in the rich Nyungar cultural heritage. Kids crafted clay turtles while learning about our native southwestern snake-necked turtles. Participants were also enlightened about the urgent need to combat plastic pollution through a virtual reality experience and a session with Angela Rossen, exploring solutions to beat plastic pollution in soil.
Bio Barcode Australia engaged attendees with their "Wetlands CSI Detectives" session, where they created art using micropipettes. Other activities included exploring the wonders of water, reptile awareness workshops, and outback mammals.
Despite the rain, the World Environment Day celebrations at The Wetlands Centre successfully fostered a sense of environmental responsibility, emphasizing the importance of conservation and sustainable practices for a greener future.
Calling all Volunteers
We're ramping up our Volunteer intake! Come discover the diverse range of eco-volunteer opportunities available for those passionate about nurturing the environment and growing our wonderful native flora species. You can get your hands dirty growing wetland and wildflower species, or choose administrative positions and learning nursery processes. We have a great volunteering information session coming up on April 30th. Join in and become part of the movement to conserve our precious environment. RSVP essential. Requirements include making a regular commitment, which will fit in perfectly even with shift workers and FIFO employees. Light refreshments will be provided. RSVP below.
Poet in Residence Program winding down
The Poet-in-Residence Program at The Wetlands Centre Cockburn has been a remarkable initiative that bridges poetry, art, and environmental conservation. Over the course of more than a year, the program has engaged the community through an array of workshops and events, fostering creativity, reflection on environmental issues, and a deeper connection with nature.
From school holiday workshops for children to youth workshops addressing climate anxiety to older folk that just want to express their love for nature, the program catered to diverse age groups and provided opportunities for personal growth and environmental education. Collaborations with community-based organizations expanded its reach, delivering workshops to seniors, writers, and poets.
International poets were also welcomed through micro-residencies and discussion panels, strengthening connections between poetry, wetlands, and Aboriginal heritage. Online initiatives like the "Poetic Ripples" campaign utilized social media to engage a wider audience and raise awareness.
With support from artists, volunteers, and funding from the DLGSC and Lotterywest, the program will culminate in the publication of the "Into the Wetlands" anthology, featuring the voices of over 65 contributors from diverse backgrounds. The book has been sent off to the printers, so look out for the launch announcement soon.
The success of the Poet-in-Residence Program highlights the importance of environmental humanities—blending arts, culture, and environmental initiatives. It has fostered a profound appreciation for wetlands, inspired change, and nurtured a deeper understanding of our natural world.
The Wetlands Centre Cockburn, in collaboration with WA Poets Inc., remains committed to promoting the intersection of arts, culture, and the environment, envisioning a future where poetry continues to play a vital role in nurturing our planet's well-being.
Closure of Narma Kullarck Boardwalk
The Narma Kullarck Boardwalk ( the new boardwalk and bird hide) at Bibra Lake, has been closed due to the collapse of the ramp leading to the bird hide,. There will need to be considerable planning and effort to undertake repair work. The City of Cockburn will hopefully be undertaking the repairs in the near future, which is necessary to restore access for the many visitors who use the boardwalk for photography, birdwatching, connecting with nature, scientific studies, casual walks and and educational events. The closure is disappointing, but there is still an alternative solution available! The old boardwalk and birdhide, which has been serving visitors for much longer, is still in a great condition. It is such an incredible experience to visit it, especially this time oif year, when our migratory bird are visiting these wetlands before taking off on their incredibly long journeys.
The new boardwalk, which has been in service since October 2012, is shaped like the southwestern snake-necked turtle, which is native to the region, and is named "Narma Kullarck", meaning "family place". The construction of the boardwalk and bird hide was carried out with respect for the Aboriginal heritage of the area, and this unique structure was built on Aboriginal land with permission from the Department of Indigenous Affairs. The floating boardwalk was designed to avoid harming the local fauna, which can move seamlessly under the boards, while the pontoons were designed to be as eco-friendly as possible. Given it’s unique design and construction, we do expect it will be some time before it is restored and goes into service once more.
If you need more information about this closure, kindly contact the City of Cockburn.