Acknowledging Country Writing Course – A Weekend at CERES
A profound and intimate writing course on listening and speaking to place.
“We cry for you because you haven’t got the meaning of this country. We have a gift we want to give you. And it’s the gift of pattern thinking. It’s the culture which is the blood of this country, of Aboriginal groups, of the ecology, of the land itself.” – David Mowaljarlai, Ngarinyin elder
This Writing Course aims to facilitate opportunities for profound connection to place and history with which to ground your words, enrich your understanding, and to grow your ongoing connections to Country.
The focus will be an exploration of the new Australian ritual of Acknowledging Country that for the last decade has taken place at the start of public gatherings. This ritual has emerged at a vital cultural moment, with the growing awareness and acceptance of Australia’s violent conquest history, and greater understanding of the ongoing impacts of colonial culture on both Aboriginal and settler cultures.
“Country” is an Aboriginal English word meaning both the visible and invisible world around us; people, plants, animals, landforms, weather systems, the animate spirit that infuses us all, the stories and the web of relationships between us. To acknowledge Country, then, is to acknowledge an alive, sensing world. The implications of this are enormous, with the potential to disrupt the de-animated worldview that underpins the colonial paradigm. How might we fruitfully and respectfully engage with this other way of knowing, and learn the responsibilities and connections of deep belonging?
This work is grounded in learning from Aboriginal and Indigenous people including course presenter, Maya’s ongoing inspiration and encouragement from Tyson Yunkaporta, Yin Paradies, Jack Mitchell, Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Ian Hunter, Joy Murphy Wandin and Dave Wandin.