Watch the video of Aunty Joy Murphy – Welcome to Country.
- Show students the AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia and explain:
There are more than 250 traditional and distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages across Australia. Each colour on this map represents a distinct linguistic-cultural community. Each community has their own cultural protocols and practices and a distinct connection to country.
- Find Wurundjeri (Aunty Joy Murphy’s country) on the map.
- Find your own area and determine the country and answer the following questions:
- What does country/place mean to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
- Why is it important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
- How do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people care for country/place?
Read and potentially display this quote from Deborah Bird Rose in her book Nourishing Terrains:
“Country in Aboriginal English is not only a common noun but also a proper noun. People talk about country in the same way that they would talk about a person: they speak to country, sing to country, visit country, worry about country, feel sorry for country, and long for country. People say that country knows, hears, smells, takes notice, takes care, is sorry or happy. Country is not a generalised or undifferentiated type of place, such as one might indicate with terms like ‘spending a day in the country’ or ‘going up the country’. Rather, country is a living entity with a yesterday, today and tomorrow, with a consciousness, and a will toward life.”
- Now that you are beginning to understand the importance of country/place to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, consider this question:
- What do you think the impact would be for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people when they are removed from their country/place?
- Write a summary outlining some of the effects had on Stolen Generation survivors who were taken off country.
- Use the yarning circle inspired space you have created in your home to allow your child to share their responses.