First People's Culture within the Murray Region

A school education resource

First People's Culture within the Murray Region

A school education resource

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The issue

Over many years Petaurus Education Group Inc. have developed and delivered a range of cultural heritage programs focusing on Aboriginal histories and culture to schools and community groups with the support of Aboriginal organisations, Elders and individuals.  The aim has been to foster mutual respect and reconciliation for the Murray region’s First people.  Many teachers and principals expressed great interest in learning more about the region’s Traditional Owners and developing stronger cultural heritage programs in their schools but were unsure how to start and what resources were available.

The solution

The combination of their passion for cultural heritage and the requests from schools to learn about the rich culture of Australia’s Traditional Custodians led to Petaurus teaming up with education consultants PeeKdesigns to develop just such a resource.

The end result published in late 2018 is called First People’s Culture within the Murray Region of NSW.  The material was gathered over several years and every attempt was made to ensure its accuracy.  Extensive consultation with Aboriginal organisations, Elders, individuals and communities of the Murray region especially the Ngarigo, Wiradjuri, Wamba Wamba/Wemba Wemba, Bangerang/Pangerang, Mutthi Mutthi, and Barapa Barapa/Perrepa Perrepa people was the key to this project.  There is a section of the book specific to these six nations with content written by, or transcribed from, Elders and community members, who shared their knowledge, stories, experiences and expertise for the benefit of the wider community.

The impact

Teachers can feel confident in teaching First People’s culture along the Murray.

The resource is suitable for primary and secondary students and provides a range of information and activity sheets to help community groups, teachers and students learn about Australia’s First Peoples.  It meets the requirements of the ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures’ cross-curriculum priorities contained within the Australian Curriculum.  Many are perfect to incorporate into Junior Landcare projects and events.

We strongly recommend this resource be used in partnership with your local Aboriginal community as they have a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help enhance the experience and learning.

This project is supported by Murray Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

The document will be available as a free download from and

Key facts

  • Starting a cultural heritage program is not difficult
  • Foster mutual respect and strong partnerships with your local Aboriginal community
  • There are 6 Aboriginal nations, 12 local land councils, and two aboriginal corporations in the Murray region

Project Partners