In a remote corner of Western Australia, two young Karratha Academy students embarked on an extraordinary adventure that would not only unearth fossils but also help shape their dreams and ambitions.
Year 11 member Henry Noble and Year 10 member Broedy Smith were invited by Clontarf partner CITIC Pacific Mining to assist scientists from the Western Australian Museum to dig up several Diprotodon fossils near the Sino Iron mine site, earlier this month.
Nestled in Du Boulay Creek, around 100km south west of Karratha, the dig site holds a wealth of fossilised wonders, with the Diprotodon standing as the crown jewel. A colossal marsupial, related to modern day wombats and koalas, the Diprotodon was an ancient titan of the Australian landscape, reaching lengths of up to four meters, towering at 1.7 meters and weighing close to three tonnes.
For the two Karratha Academy boys, this remarkable opportunity was nothing short of a dream come true. Henry envisions a future in archaeology and anthropology. He described the experience as a surreal journey back in time, saying, “I really like to find out stuff from the past.”
Henry had previously dabbled in excavation work on Aboriginal artifacts with UWA’s Peter Veth, but this adventure was something entirely new. He marvelled, “This was something very different but familiar. One of the cool things that we found out from our mob from up here was that they would have seen these things walking around back in the day, so to be a part of that history is crazy.”
Broedy Smith, a dedicated student who plans to study ecosystem management at TAFE, shares Henry’s enthusiasm for the land and history.
At the excavation site, the pair worked alongside a team of seasoned scientists and volunteers, their hands touching history, as they unearthed ancient treasures, including skulls, jaws and teeth embedded in the creek bed. They also had the opportunity to meet WA Museum CEO Alec Coles and Minister for Culture and the Arts, the Hon. David Templeman.
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of CITIC Pacific Mining, the Western Australia Museum and the Foundation for the WA Museum, this extraordinary experience has not only shown these two boys the wonders of their land’s past, but has also illuminated a path toward their own futures.