Students sail into history
A group of Aboriginal students will make history when a canoe they built becomes part of the Eora Gallery display at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour.
The students, from Lawrence Hargrave School in Warwick Farm, teamed up with the museum to construct what is believed to be the first student-built Nawi or traditional Aboriginal bark canoe.
The project involved months of research, practice with the construction of scale model vessels, and a ‘road show' to neighbouring schools to share their newly-acquired knowledge and skills.
The special bark sheet needed for the project was sourced from the Watagan State Forest near Wyong by the Forestry Corporation of NSW.
The students spent a day on the museum wharf stripping the bark and shaping it into a canoe, before launching the vessel on Chipping Norton Lakes in September following a traditional smoking ceremony.
It's believed the last time a Nawi was used on the water in metropolitan Sydney could have been as far back as the mid-19th century.
Photo: Anthony testing out the canoe's sea-worthiness. Photo by Robert Edwards