VCAL Indigenous cook up

01 June 2017

Students at Community College Gippsland enjoyed building a traditional Aboriginal earth oven on campus and cooking a feast Wagiman style.

The students have been learning about culture and connection to the land as part of their VCAL studies at ECG College. They have been learning about natural environments, edible foods, endangered species and survival.

ECG College indigenous feast photo and media by Karyn O'Brien

Photo: From left Teacher Tina Moonen, Michael Liddy, students Glenn Nicklen, Joshua Bryan, Max Hunter, ECG Head of School Jamie Robertson, students Taylah Hanssen-Dekort, Steven Edwards-Hayes and Darren Edwards-Hayes. Photo Karyn O’Brien

VCAL Teacher, Tina Moonen, said the students were also able to hear first-hand from ECG College Youth Worker, Michael Liddy, and his experiences of growing up around Pine Creek in the Katherine Region of the Northern Territory.

“Michael has provided insight into his family’s strong connection to the land, learning the Indigenous Wagiman language and spending time in the bush to hunt, cook and live off the land.”

“The students worked with Michael to dig a deep pit, source river bed stones and gum tree wood for the earth oven. They had to burn out the pit several times to dry it in preparation for the cook up.”

Michael Liddy said many of the students had never tasted food cooked this way or been involved in building an oven in the earth.

“There's nothing like the taste of food that has been cooked this way and to see the students enjoy being part of the whole process was very rewarding.”

ECG College, Head of school, Jamie Robertson, said the students cooked for staff and students across the school so it was a great way to share learning and respect for Aboriginal culture and the land.

ECG College is an independent school that offers VCAL as an option for young people students to complete senior secondary in a more adult learning environment.  It operates at Community College Gippsland campuses at Warragul, Pakenham and Leongatha./ecg_college_vcal

For further information, please phone (03) 5622 6000 or email