This internet browser is outdated and does not support all features of this site. Please switch or upgrade to a different browser to display this site properly.

Learning from the land: International students connect with Aboriginal history and culture in Northam

Copy Link
FBL International students take a group photo at Bilya Koort Boodja, holding their collective dot painting.

In an effort to promote cross-cultural understanding and create meaningful connections, the Faculty of Business and Law recently took a group of international students on a field trip to Northam as part of Bupa Insurance’s ‘Let’s Talk’ program.

The day featured a guided exploration of Bilya Koort Boodja, where students learned about indigenous heritage, followed by a collaborative artwork session and a dot painting experience inspired by the native flowers of Djilba season. The most impactful part of the trip was having a yarn with Elder, Aunty Kathy, who generously shared stories about her life growing up.

A close up view of students completing their collaborative artwork piece.

Vianca, a student on the trip, shared her profound experience, saying, “The most memorable part of my visit was hearing from one of the Aboriginal Elders. She shared stories about her experiences throughout her life, which gave me a better understanding about the struggles and experiences that Aboriginal people have faced.

“One thing that especially stood out to me was when she told us about how her young grandchild had more knowledge of the language of her people than she did, as she was not allowed to learn it while growing up. This reminded me a little bit of my own family, as my parents did not really have the opportunity to learn Chinese despite being Indonesian Chinese, as it was not supported by the government at the time.”

Vianca continued, “The guided tour also allowed me to learn about how the Aboriginal people live off the land by using the trees and plants not only for consumption, but also for medicinal purposes.”

FBL international students take a group photo outside of the Bilya Koort Boodja building.

It showed me how deep the extent of their knowledge and connection to the land is, which I feel is something that we should learn from, especially today when our environment is suffering from our actions.

The ‘Let’s Talk’ program, supported by Bupa Insurance, aims to create a safe space for international students to share their observations, facilitating cultural understanding and enriching their global perspectives.

Copy Link