Your Learning, Action and Healing Journey
Wominjeka – Welcome to this learning space, a place to explore your relationship with Australia’s First Nations people – to better understand their story, both historically and in more recent times.
As you become more informed, we trust you will reflect on how Australia’s colonial systems have impacted on and continue to impact on this country’s proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. And honestly reflect on how ‘you’ fit into this colonising story?
Becoming more aware of the truth is just the beginning. To gain a proper understanding, you will need to nourish your awareness with action, meaningful action that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The journey is one that evolves; one of growing awareness coupled with ongoing action, each part informing the other, in a balanced process.
So where does the Healing come in, you ask? This learning/action journey, will likely be an emotional one and change the way you understand colonisation. Commitment is likely to bring a change in your thinking and this has the potential, to begin healing your relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples.
The following sections contain different types of learning resources and we sincerely hope, that some of these resources will suit your learning style, and help you get started on your journey. For those who have already begun the journey it is hoped you find additional material that adds to your knowledge and understanding.
Some Key guides
- It is up to non-Indigenous Australians to educate themselves and not expect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to do the work for them.
- It can be helpful to learn in like-minded groups, so seriously consider joining or starting a discussion group.
- Where possible, it is important to prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples voices over non-Indigenous for your information sources.
- Your actions need to conform to the agendas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples led groups – be cautious of non-Indigenous controlled group objectives.
- You will make mistakes, we all do – learn from them and move forward.
- Begin with learning about the local Dja Dja Wurrung – what happened to them in the past & the present.
- Check-in with yourself occasionally and ask the question: Why am I doing this?
- Allow space and time, to just sit with what you have learned – to reflect and absorb.
Begin with the End in Mind
- Quote attributed to Dr Lilla Watson, a Gangulu woman from Qld:
If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.
- Reflect & genuinely ask yourself the important questions:
Why am I doing this? What do I expect to get out of it
Reading – Books
(L = Available at Library)
- L – Djuwima-Djarra : sharing together : Dja Dja Wurrung : our story / families of Dja Dja Wurrung, with Jessica Hodgens (Aboriginal author)
- L – The Good Country : the Djadja Wurrung, the settlers and the protectors by Bain Attwood (Note: Non-Indigenous author and the material in this book only comes from colonial sources)
- L – Black Gold : Aboriginal People on the Goldfields of Victoria, 1850-1870 Cahir, Fred (Non-Indigenous author)
- L – Living on Stolen Land by Ambelin Kwaymullina (Aboriginal author)
- L – Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe (Aboriginal author)
- L – Riding the Black Cockatoo, By: John Danalis (Non-Indigenous author)
- L – Jackson’s Track by Daryl Tonkin & Carolyn Landon (Non-Indigenous author)
- L – Talking to my Country by Stan Grant
- L – Fire Country: how indigenous fire management could save Australia by Steffensen, Victor (Aboriginal author)
- L – Blood on the Wattle by Bruce Elder (Non-Indigenous author)
- Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta (Aboriginal author)
- Why Weren’t We Told by Henry Reynolds (Non-Indigenous author)
- The Oldest Foods on Earth – John Newton
- The Biggest Estate on Earth – Bill Gammage
- Am I Black Enough? – Anita Heiss
- Took The Children Away – Archie Roach
- Jimmy and Pat meet the Queen – Pat Lowe
- Tarrengower and Lalgambook , Teaching from the Jaara Jaara – Nalderun Meeting Place Mob (Available through the Nalderun website)
- My culture, the beach and me – Grace Coff (Available through the Nalderun website)
- Our Mob’s Seasons Calendar – Nalderun Meeting Place Mob (Available through Nalderun website)
- A great list of books available at the library appear at the bottom of this library webpage: First Nations | Goldfields Library Corporation (ncgrl.vic.gov.au)
Reading – Online
- Black Lives matter; We matter Kath Coff is a proud Yorta Yorta woman living on Jaara Country.
- 10 Documentaries To Watch About Race Instead Of Asking A Person Of Colour To Explain Things For You
- Here are the practical ways you can support Aboriginal Lives Matter
- People ask me how they can support Black Lives Matter. At the moment all I can feel is sadness and grief I’ve seen many good lists, of books and articles to read, about what you can do to support the Black Lives Matter movement. So, before you message a black author with requests for teachings and resources, please ask yourself: what load am I putting on to this person that they aren’t already bearing?
- ABC education material on the colonisation of the central Victorian goldfields https://education.abc.net.au/home#!/digibook/2873696/the-colonisation-of-the-central-victorian-goldfields.
- Local History: Franklinford’s Aboriginal Protectorate | Barry Golding (barrygoanna.com)
- Links to Literature on Aboriginal Astronomy and Related Subjects Aboriginal Astronomy (emudreaming.com)
- Science: Indigenous Science Network | Facebook
- Language: Koorie English Online (education.vic.gov.au)
- The Koori History Website (GFoley) http://www.kooriweb.org/
- The Koori mail – https://koorimail.com (Hard copy available at Castlemaine Library)
- Subscribe to the National Indigenous Times National Indigenous Times; Latest Indigenous news and views (nit.com.au)
Information & Resources – Online
- VOICE. TREATY. TRUTH. – ULURU STATEMENT FROM THE HEART Uluru Statement from the Heart
- Follow the Victorian Treaty Progress Treaty in Victoria | Victorian Government (aboriginalvictoria.vic.gov.au)
- Deadly & Proud is a Victorian Government campaign that features Aboriginal storytellers and advocates from across Victoria who share their stories of pride in Aboriginal culture, resilience, community and the States historic path to treaty and truth and justice. https://www.facebook.com/watch/DeadlyandProudVIC/
- Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country: Resource Kit
- Connecting-with-Culture-on-Dja-Dja-Wurrung-Country-Resource-Kit-OCTOBER-2020.pdf (secureservercdn.net)
- Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country: A video
- Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country: A video from http://c4cbendigo.com.au/ – YouTube
- The meaning of Smoking Ceremonies – Smoking ceremony at Hanging Rock
- Smoking ceremony at Hanging Rock – YouTube
- UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/un-declaration-rights-indigenous-peoples-1
Online Courses – Self Paced (Free)
- Cultural Competence Course – Aboriginal Sydney University
- This is a great free, online, self-paced course that can easily be adapted to your local area. Great for individuals or a group to undertake and share. Resources – National Centre for Cultural Competence (sydney.edu.au)
- Kinship Module – Learn about Aboriginal Kinship systems – Sydney University Kinship Module – The University of Sydney This online learning module covers the systems of social organisation that traditionally govern Aboriginal societies and explains this significant cultural difference.
Local Castlemaine – Reflection Course (Sliding Fee)
- REFLECT: Reflect on who you are, your culture, and your relationship to the ongoing impacts of colonialism on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Listening to and learning from First Nations peoples is important, but our culture is the one that needs to change. To do this we need to start with reflecting on our understanding and attitude surrounding significant events impacting on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and our own beliefs and values – white privilege, structural racism and cultural bias. Leanganook Yarn, in collaboration with John Bonnice, is offering our community a series of facilitated Self-Reflective Conversations for local people to start this difficult work. To express your interest in participation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay up to date with Local Activities
Check out the Nalderun Website, Facebook page and join the mailing list for updates on some of their great local initiatives. Nalderun Education Aboriginal Corporation is a service that supports the local Aboriginal Community, lead by Aboriginal people. They run many services that support the person and family. Dja Dja Wurrung are the Traditional Caretakers of the Mount Alexander Shire region, the family within the Mount Alexander Shire is the Nelson Family and Nalderun’s Elder is Uncle Rick Nelson
- Nalderun website www.nalderun.net.au
- Nalderun Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nalderun
- Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-operative (bdac.com.au)
- ‘Friends of Nalderun’ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Nalderun-111421534383232/
- Castlemaine Allies Decolonising | Facebook
Listen to Aboriginal Voices
Follow and/or subscribe to Aboriginal News and Social Media, such as:
- 94.9 MAINfm | Castlemaine and Mount Alexander Radio | » DJA DJA WURRUNG RADIO
- 98.9 FM Brisbane Let’s Talk | Brisbane Indigenous Media Association (989fm.com.au)
- IndigenousX https://indigenousx.com.au/
- IndigenousX (rotating account) on twitter https://twitter.com/indigenousx?lang=en
- NITV https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/
- 10 Twitter Accounts to follow https://theconversation.com/ten-twitter-accounts-you-should-be-following-if-you-want-to-listen-to-indigenous-australians-and-learn-140353
- Black Magic Woman | Podcast on Spotify
Gary Edward Foley is a Gumbainggir man from NSW. He is an Aboriginal historian, academic, leader, activist, academic, writer and actor. He is best known for his role in establishing the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972 and for establishing an Aboriginal Legal Service in Redfern in the 1970s. In these two videos, Foley explains the do’s and don’t’s of white activism and priceless advice for all would-be supporters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Follow and Support
- At a local level: Nalderun Education Aboriginal Corporation www.nalderun.net.au
- Grandmothers against Removal (GMAR) Victoria is about Working to Stop the Removal of Children from Family by Working with Families in conjunction with the Commissioner of Children and Young People, the Ombudsman’s Office, the Women’s Legal Service Victoria & anyone else who wants to commit to changing the Genocidal Policies. GMAR Victoria – community space | Facebook
- Dhadjowa Foundation – Black deaths in custody: Dhadjowa Foundation – Stop Black Deaths in Custody
- Healing Foundation – Addressing the ongoing trauma caused by actions like the forced removal of children from their families: www.healingfoundation.org.au
- Djirra – Supporting Aboriginal women’s safety and wellbeing: Djirra – Sharing stories finding solutions | A culturally safe place where culture is strengthened and practical support is available
- Community First Development, works with First Nations communities based on the principle of self-determination. Community First Development
What is an ‘Acknowledgement of Country’? What are its main parts? What is its message? What are you trying to say?
Each month write an ‘Acknowledgement of Country’, using words from your heart. Keep a record of your attempts and notice how the content/message might change over time.
Action is not about being busy, but doing what matters. This means to carefully consider your Action options and always try to act in accordance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples agendas. Be cautious of non-Indigenous groups agendas, they are often well meaning, but their objectives are not always focused on the outcomes, that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples want to achieve.
As mentioned earlier, Learning and Action go hand in hand and nourish each other – you need to begin the learning, in order to take informed and meaningful Action. It’s about the learning/action relationship and balance.
From the experience of those who have worked in this field for some time, we feel that the types of action you decide to undertake, is an individual responsibility and will likely be driven by a growing awareness from self-education. The choosing process is an important part of your journey.
We will leave you with Dr Lilla Watson’s wise quote: