In early November the Perth Hills Discovery Centre hosted the inaugural dads and kids camping trip for families from Nedlands Primary School.
The overnight camp which was organised by Year 2 school parent coordinators saw over 26 families participating in the event. Many families shared the whole experience of camping overnight, whilst some opted to come up for a 'day camp'.
In addition to camping, the coordinators chose one of the Department of Parks and Wildlife's popular Nearer to Nature activities to engage the children, all aged 7 and 8 years.
The activity, Sense-ational Scavenger Hunt, encouraged the children to explore nature using all 5 senses and combined the use of GPS navigation to guide them through the bush. The children were split into small groups and a dad assigned to each to assist with navigation.
Camp coordinator Nicole Burchett said that it was terrific seeing the dads and children work together and engage in the natural environment. "Allowing the dads to take part along with their children supported the holistic ethos of the camp."
"The children and their dads had a wonderful time. The weekend was such a success that they have booked again for next year when the children will be in year three." She said.
Other groups within the school have expressed interest in doing similar type camp and activities.
Located in beautiful Beelu National Park, The PHDC is a major camping spot for family and school groups and has accommodated over 1500 campers in the first four months of this financial year.
DPaW's Nearer to Nature staff were delighted to welcome Aboriginal Trainee Grace Hibbert to their team at the Perth Hills Discovery Centre in October.
The 12 month traineeship, coordinated by the Public Sector Commission, will see Grace undertake a wide variety of tasks, including learning more about her Aboriginal heritage.
Grace said she was excited to have been chosen for the position.
"I was just browsing on the web one day and the advert jumped out at me, I just knew it was what I was looking for," Grace said.
"The application process was straightforward and within a week I had secured an interview."
Grace said that upon arriving at the Perth Hills Discovery Centre she felt very welcomed at her new work 'home'.
Perth Hills Discovery Centre Manager Simon Leaning said Grace would be trained in the delivery of cultural programs, as well as in the various administrative tasks required for a career in the public sector.
"Aboriginal cultural programs are an important part of the Nearer to Nature community engagement programs and it is essential that we have trained guides with the appropriate cultural background to help deliver them," Simon said.
Grace spent her first week in the bush observing the popular Aboriginal Culture Experience program, which includes a bush tucker walk, traditional tool making and Dreamtime stories around a Mia shelter.
The traineeship marks a significant career change for Grace, who has spent the past six years as a retail manager with a large jewellery company. However she is wholeheartedly embracing the move from bling to bush.>
Welcome to the Department of Environment and Conservation’s community education portal.
This is the first step towards a single domain for the department’s community education programs.
The aim is to deliver a simpler and faster access point for all our community education programs.
DEC’s programs help schools reduce their ecological footprint, and increase their social handprint, through the Australian Sustainable School Initiative WA and are ideally suited to covering sustainability in the Australian Curriculum.>