‘Wardu of a Day’ at Scotdesco

'Wardu’ or wombat was celebrated recently in a special day of cultural learning and knowledge sharing, at Scotdesco homelands. The ‘Wardu of a Day’ event saw students and community from the Far West Eyre Peninsula immerse themselves in a day of cultural learning to share knowledge on the wombat.  The Southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons), named Wardu across the Far West Aboriginal language groups, is an important species in Aboriginal culture, part of the dream time stories and as a valuable food source.

Natural Resource Management and Aboriginal Partnerships Officer Tayla Westley said over 90 students, aged eight to 12 years old, from local schools and the Ceduna youth hub came together for the event hosted by Natural Resources EP. 

“In the morning students were busy creating colourful wombat paintings, learning cultural weaving, enjoying the story corner and wombat hole tours. We made artefacts together, shared language and had a great time learning more about Wardu,” Tayla said.

“In the afternoon Aboriginal community from Ceduna, Koonibba, Scotdesco, Penong and Yalata shared ideas for a new Talking Poster, a collaborative project currently in preparation. Once complete the Talking Poster will educate and inform everyone about the importance of Wardu, particularly in Aboriginal culture. The Talking Poster will present biological and ecological information on Southern hairy-nosed wombats, as well as cultural information about Wardu best practices, to ensure the sustainable management of the species into the future.”

The event was possible due to the planning and input by the Yumbarra and Nullabour Co-Management Boards whilst developing the Far West Healthy Country Plan. The plan has been a significant driver behind the work being undertaken with wombats across the Eyre Peninsula and Far West Coast.

Chairperson of Far West Aboriginal Women’s Council Cecelia Cox said the Wardu of a Day event was filled with two way learning.  

“Engaging with over 100 school and community members. The event was a collaboration with key stakeholders that are leading the way to a more sustainable future.”

Key partners include Far West Aboriginal Women’s Council, Far West Language Centre, Scotdesco, Ceduna Aboriginal Corporation and Arts Ceduna.

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