Blame it on the Platypus!

By Katherine500 posted 04-06-2021 20:07


As a teacher at Lorien Novalis Rudolf Steiner School, I have always developed my stories and lesson activities with love of the bush and its wildlife. Last year’s discovery of Platypus DNA in our own Dooral Dooral Creek caused a stir in our community. Suddenly, our high school burst into energetic activity with students and teachers rolling up their sleeves and learned weed identification and native bush restoration skills under the expert guidance of regional Land Care professionals. Suddenly, I found myself on the leading edge of the encounter, loving to broadcast news of the tender little platypus community growing along our banks. The next step was a natural one: start a Lorien Community Land Care and Platypus Support working group! Sounds great! Oh…. I am the coordinatior??? The first meeting is coming up? I reflect. I love the bush, but strangely, bush care does not seem to be my cup of tea. Well, yes, I can organise some cups of tea and help the bushies get going. At last the great day came. Hmm… greeting the arrivals was really interesting and fun. They were lively and personable. All except for rather put out14-year-old, Maryanne, who attended the working bee under parental duress! As fate would have it, she and I struck up a partnership, and whole-heartedly met the lantana face-to-face! It might be fair to say that both of us had shaky expectations for the day. What a surprise to have fun together freeing 10 baby native trees with our clipping and cracking and swooning and patting on the backing! Before we knew it, our little cleared patch gave us a glimpse of the creek! Surrounded by a team of 16 people, we made tremendous headway: younger children piling leaves and pulling at roots, playing and darting. Finishing with a cuppa and home-baked treats, we felt surprisingly rewarded! New friendships were budding, with each other and with our native bush land. It was a morning the future could be made of. Four months down the track, we are still transforming our land and ourselves and I am still, most happily, Maryanne’s partner!