Tag Archives: Walmadany

In their branches

The ABC Radio National Earshot Documentary ‘In their branches‘ tells us about people’s love of trees. These are true expressions of intimacy and joy. Here are some images of the trees I love, climb and dream of.

IMG_2316 Jigal at B IMG_1750 IMG_1723 IMG_1650 Twisted Titree 922ac-img_2492

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Filed under Articles, Birds, Poetry

Native Planet – Protecting our songlines

The following documentary forms part of a six-episode series that highlights Indigenous peoples’ struggle to protect their lands from industrial development. Although the Browse LNG Processing Plant will not be developed along the Lurujarri Dreaming Trail and Northern Traditions Song Cycle (songline), the traditional lands of the Goolarabooloo and Jabirr Jabirr people have still been compulsorily acquired by the Western Australian government. The WA government intends on industrialising the monsoonal vine thicket of the Dampier Peninsula, which is now a threatened ecological community and functions as a year-round food and medicinal resource.

The Native Planet documentary was respectfully made with the Goolarabooloo people and gives voice to their fight to protect country and shares the perspectives of others with supporting and divergent viewpoints.

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Filed under Moving Images, The Campaign, Uncategorized, Walking

James Price Point Aboriginal cultural leader passes away

27 February, 2014 8:17AM AWST
By ABC Kimberley

He was best known as the face of Aboriginal opposition to gas processing at James Price Point north of Broome, and for being a grandson of celebrated Broome cultural leader, Paddy Roe.

The Goolarabooloo Law Boss, who cannot be named for cultural reasons, passed away in a Perth hospital after he suffered what is believed to be a massive heart attack while in Broome. His death comes as a shock to many who knew him as a vigorous opponent to the State Government and Woodside Petroleum’s plans to build a gas processing facility at James Price Point north of Broome.

He first lodged a native title claim over the James Price Point area in 1994. He described his connection to this country as the Keeper of the Northern Tradition, which had been passed to him from his Grandfather, Paddy Roe, who was given cultural custodianship by the Jabirr Jabirr traditional owners in the 1930s.

He, and his grandfather before him, were regarded by many in Broome as cultural leaders who maintained active Aboriginal religious beliefs which coexisted with modern society. But he was a controversial figure and his opposition to the planned James Price Point gas facility lead to a division between his Goolarabooloo family group, and the Jabirr Jabirr traditional owners.

He led many appeals and challenges to the gas processing facility planned for James Price Point. Eventually Woodside decided not to proceed with the project as it was determined to not be economically feasible.

Since that decision, the State Government has proceeded with the compulsory acquisition of James Price Point in spite of there being no known industry interest in developing the area. The Goolarabooloo Law Boss was unmoving in his opposition to efforts to industrialise the area.

Tributes have flowed today for the man from the Australian Greens with Senator Rachel Siewert expressing deep sadness at the man’s passing.

“His courage in fighting the James Price Point Gas hub proposal was inspiring and his leadership was a key to the success of the campaign,” she said today.

“His work will long be remembered and respected across Australia. It is a great shame to lose a leader at such an early age. He will be greatly missed.”

“I offer sincere condolences to his family, friends and community.”

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March 4, 2014 · 6:06 am

Meeting this place for the first time

I first came to this place on foot by following a trail, one that I couldn’t really see, but others could. This trail is part of something much older than a cartographer’s impression of a pathway or landscape features (here I go making all of these temporal references too. I am sure that this trail exists in a cosmology where my Western sense of temporality has little bearing). I was held by red and blue landscape, but the colours felt as though they were part of me. I have this visual in my mind of pindan red and aquamarine blue pouring out from my heart to paint the rocks, cliffs, water and sky; deep, rich, vibrant voices translated into something visual. Visual sense can be tricky sometimes, especially when what is around you is so stimulating. Another kind of listening was going on too, not one that I was very conscious of at the time, but a sense of some other kind of conversation. Was it a tuning out of the reasoning mind and a tuning into something visceral and somatic? Before we started Trail F would tell us to close our eyes and try walking through feeling, to find the threads of hard sand amongst the soft on the beach by listening to this feeling. Listening in this sense is metaphoric. So was the reference to reading the country as we were all walking trail. I didn’t get this until later on. Seduced by the visual stimulus I thought reading was all about what I could see with my eyes and knowing about inter-species indicators for food hunting and gathering. The people from this place call this listening through feeling le-an. R, the storyteller for this place, says that is how we read the country, through our le-an. I can look back now at what happened and know, not just in a cognitive sense, that walking the trail became a process of deep somatic learning, and that the challenge and beauty from that experience has been translating and articulating the stories and knowing that my body holds into a form that I and others can understand. There was a particular point on trail when I felt like I became present to where I was. Yet it was more than that, it was a ‘dropping into’ another way of being. The texture of my reality in this place changed. We were playing in the waves at this beach. The tide was outgoing and the sand bank leading into the water was getting steeper and steeper. There is so much relief in splashing around in the waves after a long, exposed beach walk. Shallow dives into the crests of the waves exhilarated me, until I dove too deep. Hitting my head hard on the shallow sandy bottom, I emerged shocked and gasping for air. Looking around I saw F, a friend and nurse, just as the muscles of my neck and shoulders seized to support my spine. One look at my face and she knew I was in trouble. It was a long, slow journey back up the expansive dune system and down into our camp. Walking into the Birrin Birri and Mamagen forest was such a relief, it felt like a healing space. F went to get snake vine from the forest to wrap around my neck and R placed his hand on my neck and shoulders for some time, I don’t know for how long. I fell asleep in a small clearing in the shady forest. Waking into a rawness, it was as though something had been striped back from my perception of being in, or with this place. But I woke up, something in me woke up. So as I write this and re-perform meeting this place for the first time, I realise, this is my waking up place.

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