In early July, medical students from all across the east coast embarked on the journey to Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre for GPSN’s annual Cultural Immersion retreat.
The weekend was designed to introduce students to various aspects of rural and Indigenous culture, and to hear from local Gumbaynggirr elders.
Across the three days, attendees participated in boomerang artwork, screen printing and damper baking workshops, and were also guided on a medicine walk detailing the practical and cultural uses of native plant species in the area.
Students also had the opportunity to explore the beautiful beaches of Corindi, learning of their historical significance and place in Gumbaynggirr culture, as well as the sights on offer in the local township.
The retreat aligned with NAIDOC Week, and students attended the opening of the Wadjar Regional Indigenous Gallery’s NAIDOC exhibition, featuring local artists and cultural artifacts. Attendees were treated to a hearty bush tucker meal, and explored the various Indigenous artworks on offer.
On the final day, students departed with stomachs full of damper and bush tucker, along with a newfound appreciation of Indigenous culture.
Feedback from attendees included:
“The 2023 Cultural Immersion was incredibly fun for me – it was great to have a go at making my own screen print, and it was really cool to taste my own damper! The beaches are so beautiful and I had such a great time getting to know everyone here. Would highly recommend!”
“The retreat was very well-planned. It was great learning about the different types and meanings imbued in Aboriginal art, and having the chance to explore the area alongside locals who knew the place like the back of their hand. I could not have asked for a better bunch of people to do it with, either. At night, we played games and swapped stories over the fire pit, and it was so amazing to get to know all these people from all across the east coast.”
“The artworks on display at the gallery were absolutely beautiful, and the bush tucker has been delicious. I’ve never eaten so much in my life.”