Quarry Hill Primary School recently launched a creative and imaginative play space for students that has been years in the making.
'Bushland Dreaming' is as a collaboration between the Dja Dja Wurrung Corporation and Quarry Hill Primary School.
The space aims to give students and the wider community a chance to better understand how local Aboriginal people live and care for their environment.
Quarry Hill Primary School principal Jo Menzel said the school had listened to the community to produce an attractive environment for learning and creative play.
"Providing opportunities for our students to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories helps them to better understand the uniqueness of their cultures and the insight and knowledge embedded within them," Ms Menzel said.
The Dja Dja Wurrung and other local Aboriginal clans' approach to measuring the rhythms of Australian landscapes forms the creative backbone of this creation.
The Bushland Dreaming vision formed when the school's Friends of Bushlandgroup was established last year.
A cohort of enthusiastic parents, teachers, students and community ideas brainstormed ideas to make the space meaningful and vibrant, while keeping it child friendly and fun.
The group felt they could replicate the Dja Dja Wurrung's six recognised seasons, acknowledging Early Winter, Deep Winter, Pre-Spring, True Spring, High Summer and Late Summer.
Dja Dja Wurrung artist Natasha Carter worked with students and staff to paint a mural depicting the birds, plants and animals associated with the seasons.
"Our work with Dja Dja Wurrung has helped firm our commitment to considering Aboriginal perspectives and considerations," Ms Menzel said.
"Providing opportunities for our students to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories helps them to understand the uniqueness of their cultures and the insight and knowledge embedded within them," she said.
The creation of six seasonal beds, a Welcome Gateway, interpretative signage and a dry river bed are part of the landscape.
A grant from the Strathfieldsaye and Districts Community Enterprises and other school fundraising helped make the project a reality.
Bendigo and Strathdale Rotary Club also contributed financially, aiding in the purchase of Indigenous plants and trees that closely match the conditions of each season.
This creation was in part a response to the state government's 2007 investigation into playground spaces.
It revealed that young children need exposure to natural environments to fully appreciate complex variations of texture, light, smell, colour and temperature.