Cloak warms healing spirit
A traditional possum skin cloak is now a treasured resource at Wagga Wagga's Riverina Environmental Education Centre.
It will be used to educate future generations about reconciliation and healing.
Created using traditional techniques of art, burning and ochre, the 20-possum skin coat was crafted by Aunty Joycelan Williams and a team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women, including her 8-year-old granddaughter, Lucynda Williams of Forest Hill Public School (pictured).
A proud Wiradjuri woman with a strong connection to her people and her country, Aunty Joycelan works with staff at the Riverina Environmental Education Centre to deliver educational programs promoting the environment and sustainability from an Aboriginal perspective.
"Using the teaching tools of story, practice and celebration, Aunty Joycelan makes deep and meaningful connections with those that she shares her proud journey with," acting Centre Principal, Darron Watt said.
"To build on the success she has achieved we are exploring new pathways that utilise her wonderful ability to connect all people with country and culture.
"We hope the possum skin cloak will become an indelible symbol of reconciliation, healing and hope for all those who learn here and central to the tradition of the Riverina Environmental Education Centre."
Along with a book detailing its creation, the ceremonial cloak a wide range of teaching resources at the centre including cutting-edge use of digital technology.