After our visit to the National Portrait Gallery (see previous blog), we walked to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, where we would be welcomed and hear from one of the ambassadors there who had come from Gamilaraay country (near Moree NSW).
Between the gallery and the tent embassy we found an empty fountain pool. We simply could not resist the idea of going for a “swim”, so we did. Back stroke, Australian crawl, doggy paddle, we did it all without getting one bit wet! It was neat seeing the fountain pump and the lights close up – which we could not have done had the pool been full of water.
While we “dried off”, we sat on the edge of the pool, facing Old Parliament House, while our teachers talked about the tent embassy and gave us a safety briefing about the ceremonial fire there.
Arriving at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, we saw the fire, caravans and tents and we were welcomed by Albert and a puppy named Justice. Albert explained how the Aboriginal flag represents the black folk upon the red soils of the Australian outback both being nourished by the big golden sun. Albert liked hearing that the German and Austrian flags are black, red and gold too.
We talked about the Black Lives Matter movement in Australia and how Albert and his friends have their flag at half mast all the time because they are sad about how disrespectfully some Aboriginal people have been treated in Australia. We agreed we were sad about that too.
Albert talked to the children about how we are all people, no matter our colour, and that we all need to look after each other; and that we need to look after the land because it looks after us. We agreed that sounded like very wise advice, and then we indulged ourselves in a Justice-patting session.
We made our way to the bus stop, and entertained ourselves (and a fellow traveller) singing our school song “GAP ist meine Schule” in many different animal voices while we waited.
We thoroughly enjoyed the bus ride back to Civic, and the 1km walk back to GAP.
We are very grateful to all the parent helpers who came along: they really helped make the excursion a wonderful experience for the children and teachers. Danke schoen!