In March 2021, within the framework of “Tree Story” an exhibition that brought together creative practices from around the world to create a ‘forest’ of ideas relating to critical environmental and sustainability issues, the tree school took the form of yarning circles, discussions and embodied conversations.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic restrictions, we could not travel to Australia, and this limitation pushed us to think about how the tree school could be activated without
our physical presence. In dialogue with the curators and together with artist and educator Moorina Bonini, we have involved faculties and students in a program of planned and unplanned activities. The tree school, in this case an informal educational space within a formal education structure, offered teaching staff and students the possibility to experiment with different forms of collective learning.
In dialogue with Elder N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM and Dr Brian Martin of the Wominjeka Djeembana Indigenous Research Lab at Monash University, the Tree School was established around the Boon Wurrung Tree, which with its very presence alludes to the foundation and strength of Indigenous Australian culture. The conversations and yarning circles that took place around the tree were informed by it, bringing
to the forefront ideas of caring for the Country, learning from trees and important narratives.
The Boon Wurrung Tree
see the video here