Acknowledgement to Country

Ngaala Kaaditj, Whadjuk Nyoongar Moort, keyen kaadak nidja boodja.

We acknowledge the Whadjuk Nyoongar people as the original custodians of this land. And we pay our respects to their elders past, present and future.

This is a month late; I feel that is how I should have started my blog. I have been living in Western Australia for more than 15 years and this country has been good to me. My connection to the landscape and the place was immediate on my first trip in 1994. It has strongly developed overtime, traveling across the continent in all States, camping, hiking, and generally enjoying the magnificence of Australia’s unique environment. The last couple of years, my sense of belonging and connection to the land has developed even more strongly through my participation to several workshops and weekends on country under the guidance of Nyoongar Elder Dr. Noel Nannup.

In 2012 I participated to a serie of four Nyoongar cultural workshops held at Replants in Fremantle. These were four magic evenings listening to ancient stories told by great storyteller Dr. Noel Nannup, by the fire amongst a forest of Balgas, here right in the middle of our city.

Since these workshops I participated to three weekends on Country led by Dr. Noel Nannup and organised by Jaime Yallup Farrant (RRaFT Educators). We traveled to significant sites in the wheatbelt, East of Perth, one time up to Wave Rock, learning about Aboriginal spirituality, culture and language. All this learning while living in the bush for 3 days was a fantastic experience. The connection to the land deepened from all sides: intellectual, physical and emotional. It gave me a greater appreciation and respect for the Nyoongar people’s culture and the land.

I’ll close this ‘acknowledgement’ post by saying that now it’s time to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s Constitution. It’s the right thing to do.