A peaceful, bush-like garden, visually engaging with plants from many parts of Australia


September 2023

Urumbula is the Nukunu name given to the native plant garden at the John Pirie Secondary School in Pt Pirie.

A retired teacher, Bruce Mules, started the project in 2018 working with Aboriginal students to transform a bare piece of land to an attractive and flourishing garden that demonstrates and celebrates the cultural significance and many traditional uses of indigenous plants.

The garden represents three environments – a dry creek bed, rocky outcrop and desert sand dunes and contains plants from many parts of Australia.

Urumbula is a peaceful, bush-like garden, visually engaging as well as interesting. Beneath the canopies of eucalypts, she-oaks and other Australian trees, paths closely edged with shrubs and grasses meander through the garden and little bridges cross the creek bed in several places.

A yarning circle with a firepit has a backdrop of The Connections Mural, a large, detailed and colourful Aboriginal mural painted by students on the wall of an adjacent building.

The garden doubles as an outdoor classroom - students learn to recognise plants and how in Aboriginal culture they are used for food, medicine, as dyes, in fire making, hunting and as tools. The bulk of the work in establishing the garden, including its layout and construction was by students, teaching them skills in landscaping, gardening, leadership and team work.

In 2021 the Urumbula was a finalist in the 2021 Public Education Awards.

Size: 1 acre

Garden Notes

Garden notes are written by the garden owner and often tell the story of their garden. Click the link below to download the notes. We suggest you also print them out and bring them to the garden.

Download Garden Notes