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Welcome to campus

03 Mar 2020

Welcome to campus Image

It was O-week in February and the art students were back in town to begin their long and tortuous journey towards a career.

At noon on February 20, indigenous students were there to welcome them to campus.

The courtyard of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) was filled with smoke.

“It’s used for healing, cleansing mostly,” said Gheran Yarraman Steel, a representative of the Boonwurrung people.

“We use it to respect the welcome to country,” he said. “It cleanses all the bad energy.”

Students exposed themselves to river red gum and wattle smoke and danced around the courtyard.

Mr Steel said it would help if the smoke of local plants was in their bodies so they were recognised by country.

Among the students hoping for a bit of recognition was Jamieson Doyle who is doing a science degree but has opted for a breadth subject in songwriting.

“I’m allowed to keep doing it as a side passion,” he said.

Jamieson and his friends arrived an hour early for the lunch and looked cool hanging out on the lawn on bean bags.

Jamieson’s first VCA lyrics will be about the warm welcome at the orientation week lunch.

Mr Steel took a more historical view of events at the campus. He said that this area of the riverbank used to be filled with the waters of the Yarra.

“The Birrarung used to flow out to where Point Nepean is now,” he said. “When the bay filled up the waters came up to St Kilda Rd. It used to be underwater here.”

 

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