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Acknowledging Country: Surrendering to the Grief of our Origins
Castlemaine Community House, 30 Templeton St, Castlemaine 3450
As a person of settler descent, I have created this course for those who wish to respond more deeply to the work that First Nations people have asked us to do – Acknowledge Country. I have done so with the support and encouragement of Aboriginal people. They have asked settlers to share the emotional burden that Aboriginal people have been forced to carry, and do the work of sitting with the discomfort of our history.
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.
“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 work suggests ways to come into right relationship with First Nations people and with Country through honesty, care and deep listening. Only by resting on ethical foundations can spiritual depths be revealed, and co-creative flourishing unfurl.
The focus will be an exploration of the new Australian ritual of Acknowledging Country that for the last decade or so 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 inspiration and encouragement from Tyson Yunkaporta, Yin Paradies, Jack Mitchell, Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Ian Hunter, and Joy Murphy Wandin.
Dates are July 9/10 10.30-4.30
Price for the two day course is $250/$190 concession.
This course pays the rent.
Book here: https://events.humanitix.com/acknowledging-country-writing-course