Friday, July 6, 2012

Naidoc week - Tent embassy - Mountain girl

The land I was raised on.

The year before I was born, in 1972, a group of four Aboriginal men put a beach umbrella up on the front lawn of Parliament house in Canberra. It was a protest. A stand for Aboriginal land-rights. It soon beacame a few tents and it became known as Tent embassy. I don't think, I could put into words how greed and massacres took these peoples lives away. Their land, their life.

I am trying to write from my heart, but I understand that this is so complex, on many issues. I believe though, there is truth, power and change in putting your heart out there.

And... So, this is a truth;

In the years Aborigines fought for their land rights. I was busy growing up in their culturally rich dream-time land. The little white hippy bare footed mountain girl, reared on a 20 acre piece of colonial stamped land. It was halfway up the mountain range, with its four sides surrounded by national park. I didn't notice the fences, all of it was just a continuous adventure. For me.

I understood it was land that belonged to others. And I dreamed of them. While they, had all been herded away. I flourished. My spirit grew solid and secure like the white lichen on the hard granite rocks, my spirit overlooked the valleys and plains, it touched it's soft hand in the crisp clear water that seeped from the mountain spring. The ancient earth water, that would of bathed and flowed for Indigenous children, for thousands of years before me. Before it was the source that nourished the cells of my growing little body. 

There is over 300 rock art sites in these mountain ranges, and where I lived, was untouched by walking tracks and tourists trampling feet. As a child I new and sensed that this land was missing a vital part. The indigenous people of this country had intimately read the land, and knew it like the souls of their strong feet. I wanted that. That connection to the land. Desperately. So desperately, I wrote about it here

If I was like the white lichen, attached and safe. They were the earth colored lichen that was scraped and torn away and placed in separate petri dishes, otherwise known as missions, where their souls were crushed........

Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. 

This week is NAIDOC week (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee), and you can read all about it here.

"They dared to challenge – this year’s theme celebrates the champions who lived to renew the spirit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972. Forty years ago, the embassy became a powerful symbol of unity. Its founders instilled pride, advanced equality and educated the country on the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To move forward, we must acknowledge our forbearers, learn from their experiences and ask ourselves… what have their sacrifices meant for me and my family today?"    NAIDOC WEBSITE.

Yesterday I took the kids for a walk to a waterfall. It was beautiful.
The boulder Jonah is on is the same one I played on when I was a child.
It is unchanged. Stoic and strong.
I talked a lot with the kids about people from this land, about us about the world and what's real
and what's not. I told them stories. 

I could of written about this all day. But like yesterday, I will continue to tell my kids stories, as we go for another walk in this land. So their souls know what's real, and what's not.


  1. Rex, that is quite a powerful sharing. Are there any lands on this planet that have not been overtaken by white people? Where indigenous peoples still thrive freely in their cultural richness?? I have yet to experience that in any of my travels. It makes me embarrassed to have this color skin. So sad.

  2. Yes, completely agree Nell. I know in my heart I belong to the land, but part of me wants the cultural history, the stories to be mine too. I am making my own stories, mixed up stories of here and there and the of the land that created me.