Above Uncle Barry James Gilson singing an Indigenous story at Paddock Creek Reserve in Gordon
The Moorabool Catchment Landcare Group (MCLG) has been using creative ways to connect more people to their natural environment.
In September 2018 members of the Gordon community asked the MCLG if better use could be made of Paddock Creek Reserve in Gordon.
The group saw this as a great opportunity to work with the community and explore ways of connecting people to the environment with health and well-being activities. The community was keen to use local knowledge and local presenters and to make all the events free. The MCLG hosted two events in February 2019.
A family friendly event focusing on cultural stories, poems and songs about the Aboriginal history of Gordon was a great success. The aim was to help the community feel a stronger connection to Gordon and its history and appreciate the unique environment surrounding the small township.
Uncle Barry James Gilson, of the local Wathaurung, enthralled the 50 participants.
Sharron Gilson described the event as “magical.” Heatheranne Bullen said it was an excellent evening; “Gordon is a special creation place. I loved hearing about the traditional stories of the area.”
Emotional and physical well-being was the focus of the second event which involved tai chi and yoga at the reserve. Heuy Tran, a local martial arts coach, guided the 15 community members through the session. The calming movements were accompanied by early morning birdcall. In discussion with the community after the event, many were keen to continue with tai chi classes. They reflected on the peacefulness of the activity, and were keen to be more involved in Landcare.
Further community events are planned including stargazing, night photography, cultural walks, basket weaving and other family friendly activities.
MCLG are also currently running a Gardens for Wildlife program in the urban and peri-urban areas of Gordon. This program aims to also encourage health and well-being through enhancing habitat for native wildlife in home gardens, providing advice about native plants and weed control, and encouraging better connections within the community.
Jennifer Johnson is the MCLG Landcare Coordinator.
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