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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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Aboriginal connections to Country program

Teacher checklist

Main location

Buffalo Creek Reserve, 117 Pittwater Road, Hunters Hill

Wallumedegal Country

Google maps - Apple maps

Bus access

Supply bus driver with Buffalo Creek bus information.

No bus entry into Buffalo Creek Reserve carpark.


DoE $24 per student - GST free

Non-gov school cost $34 per student - GST free, minimum charge $600

Risk assessment

Buffalo Creek Reserve risk management plan

COVID-19 safety plan


View the YouTube track overview videos.

Sugarloaf Point loop track

Welfare Participants will be bushwalking during the day in rugged terrain.

This excursion may not be suitable for people who have recently been unwell.
Bring Backpack, medication, low-waste food, water bottle, sunblock, raincoat, hat, sturdy shoes, mask.

Students wear reusable name tag and sports uniform.
View Preparing for an excursion.
Supporting resources

Digital book Traditional Wiradjuri Culture available free from Apple Books.

Fact sheets

Bin access All student waste to be taken home by students.
Parent/carer helpers Optional one parent per class, no siblings. Closed shoes essential. 

Check COVID-19 restrictions.
Medical or special needs

Notify Field of Mars staff prior to excursion. 

Students, staff and visitors must not attend if unwell, even with mild symptoms. 

Extreme or wet weather Days predicted to be above 35ºC, high winds, extreme bush fire danger and dust storms may result in the excursion being modified, postponed or cancelled. 
Cancellations Cancellations with less than three school weeks' notice will incur a $500 administration fee. This does not apply to cancellations due to weather,  fire danger or COVID-19 restrictions.

Suggested timetable up to four classes


Classes A, B, C, D

9.45 - 10.15

Introduction - Buffalo Creek Reserve

Toilets, crunch and sip or recess

10.15 - 12:15
Bushwalk and activities

Eating break at Sugarloaf Point on the bank of the Lane Cove River

12.45 - 1:30

Bushwalk and activities

1:30-1:40 Toilet break and eating time
1:40-2:00 Concluding activity
2:00 Pack up and depart

Learning activities

Draft program

Students go on a journey to investigate Aboriginal culture and connections to Country. On a bushwalk through Lane Cove National Park, students will explore the connections Darug people have to country through various activities and storytelling. Students will learn about how Country provides various resources including tools, weapons, food, medicines as well as learning the many ways we can care for Country.

Inquiry questions

  • What are the features of this place?
  • How are Aboriginal people connected to this place?
  • How can we care for this place?


Students will walk through the bush to learn to tune in and connect with their surroundings. They will use Aboriginal Dreaming stories to identify the natural features of their environment.

Through teacher-led and student-directed activities, students will learn about the features of the bushland, how it is cared for, and how it was utilised by Aboriginal Peoples. 

Activities include creating sand stories using animal tracks, a sensory guided bush resource walk, creating a natural frog orchestra and nature based memory games.

To conclude the day students will reflect on and recount what they have learnt while creating an ochre based artwork. 

Syllabus outcomes and content

Geography K–10 Syllabus (2015) 


A student:

  • describes features of places and the connections people have with places GE1-1
  • identifies ways in which people interact with and care for places GE1-2
  • communicates geographical information and uses geographical tools for inquiry GE1-3


Features of places  


  • investigate the features of places and how they can be cared for, for example:
    • discussion of the natural features of places identifies in Aboriginal Dreaming stories and/or creation accounds of the Torres Strait
    • consideration of how a place can be cared for eg a park, farm, beach, bushland

People and places


  • Investigate people's connections and access to places, for example:
    • discussion of why people visit other places
  • investiage connections that people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, have to local and global places, for example:
    • discussion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' connections with land, sea and animals of their place
    • descriptions of reasons people are connected to places in Australia and/or countries across the world eg birthplace

Other syllabus links

Learning experiences will also support but not explicitly teach the following outcomes and content

Engklish K-10 Syllabus (2015) 


A student:

  • examines features and characteristics of places and environments GE2-1 
  • describes the ways people, places and environments interact GE2-2 
  • acquires and communicates geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry GE2-4 


Significance of environments

  • investigate the importance of natural vegetation and natural resources to the environment, animals and people, for example:

    • identification of types of natural vegetation eg forests, grasslands, deserts 

    • explanation of the importance of natural vegetation to animals and the functioning of the environment eg provision of habitats, production of oxygen  

    • discussion of the importance of natural vegetation and natural resources to people 

Protection of environments


  • investigate sustainable practices that protect environments, including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, for example:

    • examination of how the practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples support the sustainable use of environments eg use of resources

Geography K-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015

History K-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2012