Dave Harrington, the main person providing Stone and Bones activities, has many year's experience in delivering workshops and lectures to a wide range of audiences informed by his career in scientific and cultural research and investigation. Consequently, these workshops are rich with information and stimulating role play activities, investigations and other practical opportunities including mapping, modelling natural systems, scientific investigations and research and discovery learning. Dave is an experienced ethnobotanist and ecologist and can provide opportunities for science and geography students to engage in structured capacity building with Indigenous cultural content as a focus. These activities represent a taste of those available, as Dave has 20 years of experience working in the field to share with students. Please contact us to discuss your particular needs.
Bush Food and Medicine
Indigenous people around the world still rely on plants to provide the bulk of their food and medicine needs. Their knowledge of the natural world is amazing and shows the deep level of enquiry and scientific understanding that Indigenous communities possess. This workshop is very flexible and can extend from a lecture and tasting session, looking at locally available species often found within the school playground, to long term design and establishment of bush tucker gardens with associated lesson plans and units of work. With regards medicinal information, Dave has engaged in collaborative research with Aboriginal communities for many years, and this topic can include the pharmacology and chemistry of natural products, Indigenous Intellectual Property rights and natural justice regarding customary knowledge and the nature of symptomatic versus pathogenic medicinal practice. This topic is interesting and stimulating for all age groups, so contact Stone and Bones to discuss your particular needs.
Indigenous people were dependent on their local environment for all of their subsistence needs. Consequently, there were many decisions that needed to be made from day to day regarding what foods to seek out, what risks to take, and the division of labour between members of a community. Over many years, these types of pressures influenced the size of communities, the area through which they ranged and the nature of their society. This extremely flexible workshop allows students to reflect on these ideas through a series of lectures, Q and A and hands on activities simulating hunting and gathering in their local environment. The activity can provide information about coastal or land based communities and includes a focussed scientific investigation quantifying the effort requied to gather food for a group of hunter gatherer people living on country. It also critiques the nonsense of modern fad diets purporting to replicate "paleo" lifestyles. It is suitable for primary and older students and is most appropriate for Stages 4, 5 and 6 in geography, TAS, science or history subjects.
Natural Resource Management
Natural Resource Management, or NRM, is a growing area of employment for people with a scientific, engineering, economics or sociology background. In Australia, Indigenous people are becoming instrumental in decision making and management in the field. The holistic and community based nature of NRM decision making makes it an effective lens through which to consider the decision making processes of Indigenous peoples, possessing a close and interdependent relationship with country.This whole class workshop provides an opportunity for participants to engage in a consultation, conciliation and decision making role play that pitts various groups against one another in mananging a sensitive parcel of land. Each group will take on the role of either Aboriginal custodians, representatives of extractive industries, conservation groups or farmers and will develop a plan of management for the land in question. The plan will include mapping, environmental classification and independent research. This activity is suitable for High School groups, and is most appropriate for geography classes.
Fire is used by humans to manage the environment on a vast scale. In Australia, fire has been used for millenia to provide productive and stable environments for human use. Many authors and academics have researched this human activity and today, customary fire management is being implemented by Aboriginal communities to provide environmental outcomes including carbon abatement, the protection of biodiversity, weed control and to protect many other cultural and environmental values. This workshop will provide a guided research opportunity exploring fire management by Aboriginal people. It will incorporate mapping, illustrating how fire management can contribute to environmental diversity, and will profile many case studies of Aboriginal people working in this field around Australia. This activity targets High School students and is most suitable for those studying geography, science including biology, botany and ecology, history and Aboriginal studies.