International Grammar School

As I stepped out of the city and into the rainforest, I felt a sense of peace wash over me. The air was fresher, the trees were greener, and the sounds of nature surrounded me. I have always felt intrinsically entwined to the earth, and this hike was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my roots. I walked along the path, taking in all the sights and sounds around me. I could feel the earth beneath my feet, grounding me and connecting me to something deeper.

The rainforest is an exotic tapestry woven with the threads of nature; every living thing plays its part in a harmonious rhythm. The leaves of the towering trees are the dancers, swaying and descending in the gentle breeze. The rivers are the veins, coursing through this living, breathing organism. The animals are the actors, each with their role in this complicated drama.

An intriguing feeling came over me like a gentle push, making me advance deeper into the undergrowth. An eerie veil of silence blanketed the trees. Fear and curiosity clouded my vision. The rainforest looked as if the trees were reaching the sky like outstretched hands, casting long shadows in the silver moonlight. The leaves rustled beneath my feet like a gentle whisper, beckoning me to walk deeper into the forest. And then I heard a voice calling out to me, like a beacon in the night.

“Finally, a visitor,” someone said in a rough lonely voice like gravel. My heart skipped a beat. I started glancing around looking for whoever spoke. My heart felt like a cage with a wild animal trapped inside. “Hello Andrew,” the voice said. A tsunami of fear crashed over me. How do they know my name? “It is good that you are here and at peace with us.” I was as lost as a stray dog in the city. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement. I slowly turned around in trepidation.

The large decrepit gum tree stood there. “Maybe just a figure of my imagination,” I thought to myself.

Gradually I stopped panting and just stood there trying to accept the voice was just my imagination playing tricks on me. The large gum tree shifted. “You need to learn a lesson,” the voice said. I was drawn towards the tree.

The large trunk and branches towered over me. It emanated presence watching over the rainforest. The bark was etched with the wisdom of the ages, and it was as if the tree was alive with an energy that I couldn’t quite explain. On the engraved bark, it showed our values and beliefs, our understanding of the world and its creation.

“You are now a knowledge holder Andrew,” the tree said.

A million emotions formed into a whirlpool in which my mind was drowning in. I was so shocked that I couldn’t speak.

“Mr Andrew,” a student said. “Did this happen? Is the tree real?”

Artist Statement 

The First Nation People’s tradition of passing information from generation to generation orally inspired me. These people who are given the right to pass down this knowledge are called knowledge holders, and this is what I wanted to incorporate in my story. This story represents the power of nature and how it teaches the main character a valuable lesson.

Reconciliation Means…

It is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous people. It involves acknowledging past wrongs, seeking forgiveness, and working towards healing and rebuilding trust. True reconciliation requires humility, courage, and a willingness to listen and understand the perspectives of others. It is a process that takes time, patience, and effort, but the rewards of restored relationships and peace are immeasurable.

Written By: Flint Foote

Teachers Click Here

Many of these resources and activities have been developed in consultation with NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to ensure that the program meets NSW curriculum outcomes for Stages 3, 4 & 5.