Getting everybody connected to country

A very important and provocative article published in yesterday’s The Guardian online: What if Aboriginal people helped all Australians to connect to country?


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3 responses to “Getting everybody connected to country

  1. Very powerful ideas. I have long held much fascination with and respect for the New Zealand model of acceptance into culture by both Maori and non-Maori. The Maori understand the positive impact of allowing others to engage in culture, and likewise the non-Maori have embraced the opportunity to draw from Maori culture from the highest level. The bi-lingual national anthem is very powerful message of this. Not for a moment am I downplaying the intercultural issues still evident in New Zealand. However, facilitating acceptance and mutual respect is a solid platform to build understanding and positive relationships. Great piece, thank-you for bringing it to me Nia.

  2. niaemmanouil

    Hi Dallas,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Yes, it is important to recognise that there is a lot of complexity with such issues. For me processes of healing/belonging need to also recognise the inter-generational impacts of colonisation and neo-colonial forces from gov and industry in countries like Australia and Aotearoa/NZ. The processes/ceremonies/rituals/experiences where we come together as peoples is something that I am really keen to explore. When I was over in Aotearoa/NZ last year for a conference, I and the other conference delegates were welcomed by the tangata whenua (traditional owners) through a powhiri process which was really incredible. By the end of the powhiri there was a palpable sense of unity amongst the group, which lifted our listening, engagement and collaboration to a whole other level. Part of me has wanted to compare the powhiri with other experiences of being welcomed to country by traditional owners in Australia (walking country together, weaving, through ceremonies), but I know that it is inappropriate to make comparisons as each group of people has their own traditions. What I have come to realise is that ceremony (whatever that may look like) is so important for creating unity/a shared space/relationship.
    Be well,

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