Filmmakers document Denmark Environment Centre’s Six Seasons Field Trips to create educational resource

Isabel VieiraAlbany Advertiser
Mark Parre at the Djilba event.
Camera IconMark Parre at the Djilba event. Credit: Denmark Environment Centre

The Denmark Environment Centre’s series of education field trips led by Noongar leaders and scientists have been documented in a series of short films.

Over the course of a year the DEC hosted six community excursions— each based around a Noongar season — with the aim of providing an opportunity for people to learn more about Aboriginal culture and heritage while on country.

The Six Seasons Field Trips — which wrapped up this month — were led by Noongar leaders and scientists who spoke about the cultural significance and environment at Mt Lindesay, Mt Hallowell, Morley beach, Styx River, Springdale beach and Mt Leahy.

Six Seasons project coordinator Holly Pepper and Lynette Knapp
Camera IconSix Seasons project coordinator Holly Pepper and Lynette Knapp Credit: Denmark Environment Centre

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Local filmmaker Frank Rijavec documented the excursions and Teresa Ashton-Graham edited the clips to produce six short films which were premiered at the Denmark Civic Centre on July 17.

Project co-ordinator Holly Pepper said they hoped the films would become an educational resource for the broader community and local schools.

“The films are a way to broaden that audience because sometimes we were visiting places that were a little bit inaccessible for people with limited mobility,” she said.

“Hopefully through the films it’s an opportunity to engage with a broader audience and also people who are living out of the region.”

Denmark Environment Centre's Bart Lebbing speaking at Styx River
Camera IconDenmark Environment Centre's Bart Lebbing speaking at Styx River Credit: Denmark Environment Centre

Ms Pepper said the project was well received by the community.

“It was an opportunity for the local community to connect with the environment and learn about Aboriginal cultural heritage as well as scientific background of some of these locations,” she said.

“Going out on country has been important for learning about the cultural artefacts that can’t really be articulated in a room.

“I think there was a really positive response and I think the fact the project ran over a period of a year in a consistent format was important for building those relationships and trust.”

Noongar elder Carol Pettersen.
Camera IconNoongar elder Carol Pettersen. Credit: Denmark Environment Centre

The DEC also published a book documenting it’s campaigns and projects called Landcare and Land Restoration Stories.

“The Landcare and Land Restoration Stories publication was an opportunity to document some of the campaigns and activities that have been conducted by the Denmark Environment Centre or that have run alongside our organisation,” Ms Pepper said.

“It think that’s been quite important given that most of the work done in this space is voluntary.

“This was a good opportunity to formally interview people and document some of the hard work that has gone into protecting the unique landscape around Denmark.”

The Six Seasons short films are available for viewing on the DEC website.

Jesz Fleming birdwatching.
Camera IconJesz Fleming birdwatching. Credit: Denmark Environment Centre
Myles Mitchell
Camera IconMyles Mitchell Credit: Denmark Environment Centre
Field trip at Morely beach.
Camera IconField trip at Morely beach. Credit: Denmark Environment Centre

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