Kids on Country Coolgardie Bluff Rehabilitation Project Stage 1

Ngadju community of Coolgardie in conjunction with Millennium Kids Inc
July to December 2017

Kids On Country Coolgardie Bluff Rehabilitation Project Stage 1 builds on the cultural knowledge and language acquired in the first Kids on Country project. The Coolgardie Bluff is a significant Indigenous site on the edge of Coolgardie, cleared and left without rehabilitation by a legacy mine.

Once again the young participants have defined the project themselves by asking questions about the site: why are there no trees, how has it changed, was there woodland here, how can we bring it back?  The rehabilitation project seeks to answer these questions through a series of hands-on workshops (Stage1) and use the information to complete rehabilitation of the site (Stage 2).


After site visits to various areas in the Woodland children started inquiring about the land in town. Children noted changes in the landscape and showed an interest in plants and plant based medicines and were keen to learn more.  At the MK20 UNconference in Perth in 2016, the Ngadju team of children pitched the idea of rehabilitating the Coolgardie Bluff area and started planning.

The Senior Ngadju team agreed that that a revegetation program at the culturally significant site would be a suitable location for the next Kids on Country project. Importantly, the site provides a local context for sharing cultural knowledge and language to the wider community.

The workshops:

Through visits to a series of vegetation specific sites, the children and elders will record Indigenous plant names and uses of plants, enhancing the children’s knowledge of the Ngadju language. Working alongside an Indigenous artist, a botanical artist, elders and a botanist, children will also collect information about local plant species and document the plants through botanical art and landscape painting.  They will create a species list, identify seeds to be collected and design a re-vegetation plan for the town site.  The children will also engage with the local Ngadju Rangers based at Credo Station, learning about how the Rangers use Indigenous knowledge to manage areas of the Greater Western Woodland.

The information collected will be used to produce a book for local use, to be sold in local tourist outlets. It will also inform design of the project’s second stage, in which the rehabilitative work will be completed. This involves seed collection, plant propagation, planting, hard landscaping, interpretative signage incorporating the children’s artwork and Ngadju language and knowledge, and production of a phone ap for visitors.

Anticipated outcomes (Stage 1):

  • Development of a species list of medicine and bushtucker plants with Ngadju, Latin and common names and uses
  • Development of a scale revegetation map for Coolgardie Bluff site
  • Development of a series of paintings and drawings of plants and a landscape map suitable for both artwork for a book for public sale and for use on interpretative signage at Coolgardie Bluff, Coolgardie.
  • Exploration of Ngadju words for inclusion on signage planned for the Coolgardie Bluff site
  • Increased use of Ngadju words in daily activities, including non-Indigenous facilitators
  • Identification of seed collection locations and appropriate seed collection permissions for provenance sites
  • Increased awareness of Ngadju cultural ties to the land by Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants
  • Recognition that cultural knowledge and language is a valuable attribute for tourism and other employment opportunities
  • Completion of a paper on the Kids on Country process outlining how the 8 Indigenous Competencies are used to frame program development


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