Caitlin and Emily are two of the amazing educators at Explore & Develop Penrith South who are generously sharing their curriculum with us throughout NAIDOC week to showcase how they embed Aboriginal perspectives in their program on a day to day basis.

Monday 3rd July 2017



Our interest in ‘Humpies’ started before NAIDOC week  from reading the book ‘Warnayarra, The Rainbow Snake’. Initially the Grasshopper children (4-5yr olds) expressed that their favourite part of the story is when the Rainbow Snake smashes the tree’s and then gets stuck in the lake, however as we continued to read the book, ‘Humpies’ became a fascinating and intriguing word that we wanted to learn more about.




What is a Humpie? With lots of research we discovered that ‘Humpies’ are traditional Aboriginal homes which they made, utilising resources off the land. Branches, sticks, leaves and bark as well as corrugated iron. We discovered that there are different types of ‘Humpies’ and different names such as Gunyah (a NSW Aboriginal word for home).

What better way to develop and extend on the children’s interest, than to create our own Gunyah using the natural materials that we can find in and around our environment.We hunted high and low. We shook the tree’s so that they would drop leaves onto the ground for us to pick up. We collected rocks, sticks and huge branches. We even tried our best to find some pieces of bark, ensuring not to hurt the tree’s ‘feelings’ by being true Custodians of the land and caring for our environment.



How are we going to put it together? Another research task was needed to ensure that we could construct the Gunyah properly. We utilized our SmartBoard and watched a video on Youtube about how to build one using the materials we had.

Now it was time to draw up a plan. The children brainstormed their ideas collectively and then using their artistic skills drew their own diagrams that explained the build step by step. They also listed the materials that were to be sourced and collected in order for us to master the art of creating a Humpie.



We can’t wait to see where this interest takes us…stay tuned! 

Emily & Caitlin

The Koori Curriculum thanks Emily and Caitlin for sharing how they embed Aboriginal perspectives in their program every day. We look forward to following your progress throughout the week and seeing where this interest ends up.