• The children of Tarremah Steiner School found their Aboriginal hut burned to the ground on Wednesday morning. Photo: Anthony King/Facebook (Photo: Anthony King/Facebook)Source: Photo: Anthony King/Facebook
“I’m completely shattered to be honest, that someone would go to that extreme to destroy something that the children have created,” Tarremah Steiner School principal Rod Tomlinson said.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

2 Sep 2016 - 4:55 PM  UPDATED 2 Sep 2016 - 4:57 PM

Children, staff and parents from Hobart's Tarremah Steiner School arrived to school to find their large traditional hut burnt to the ground on Wednesday morning.

"I'm completely shattered to be honest, that someone would go to that extreme to destroy something that the children have created," Tarremah Steiner School principal Rod Tomlinson said.

"They had invested an enormous amount themselves and they found it burned it to the ground."

Although devastating for all involved, Mr Tomlinson said they still don't know what happened and it should not be put down to a deliberate act of sabotage. He also noted that there were several other structures left unharmed by the perpetrator.

"There was a lot of anger. Realising there were other possible causes other than deliberate malice eased the tension a bit," he said.

The building of the structures by the children was part of a 'dwellings and construction' project that the children of Year Three were working on.

This time they had chosen to focus on traditional Aboriginal dwellings. Aboriginal parent Anthony King described how they were created.

"Traditionally for the structure itself was a tea tree which is lashed together with sagg grass. Over the top we put bracken fern and laid over the top of that is stringy bark," Mr King said.

"We actually pull off the stringy bark from the stringy bark tree,it turns into a scar tree. There was a lot of effort that went into the harvesting the material itself.

"We had some students help on the weekend, we had parents who were engaged in the project itself, and some Aboriginal people who are community members."

Mr King said that while it was upsetting, the children are resilient and he appreciates the support he has received from his community.

Putting up a Facebook post following the incident, Mr King received hundreds of likes, shares and comments, along with offers from community members to help rebuild the hut.

But for now, the school and all involved are focusing on a special ceremony that will be held tonight.

"Craig Everett is the cultural educator. He plays the didgeridoo and has taught the children a kangaroo and dingo dance," he said.

"He's also doing a cleansing ceremony to help the kids accept what has happened and turn a negative into a positive."