The colonial storytelling of good intent
Or the inspired erasure of our Ancestors?
- Published 20220127
- ISBN: 978-1-92221-65-8
- Extent: 264pp
- Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook
There was once a time when all spoke the same language, no matter the skin, and so there was a great peace over the lands. To help keep this peace, great meetings were held when the three sisters in the sky stood in line, and the Law-Makers – the Elders, Warriors and Healers – would gather to share their Stories and Songs. For the great meeting of this Story, it was held on the Land of the Yandelora, the home Country of Wiritjiribin the Lyrebird.
It was the duty of Wiritjiribin to welcome all Law-Makers and remind them of how the Yandelora had become a place of peace, where any violence was shunned and no weapons could be carried. They would be shown where their weapons could be kept, and where their campsites (and those of their Ancestors) could be found (often marked by carved trees or even the sacred plants of their homelands). During the great meeting, Wiritjiribin welcomed many, including Duluma the Crocodile from the warmer salty rivers and Djunguwaragal the Devil Dog who came from the colder forests in the opposite direction. Garal’ga the Black Cockatoo from over the mountains and Bittoorong’burran the great Red Kangaroo who bounded from the dry Country further inland were also greeted warmly. Over time, nearly all the Law-Makers had arrived.
WITHIN WHAT IS now known as Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Storytelling has long been recognised as an important tool for the teaching of the knowledges, values, customs, connections, Country and our strengths for immeasurable generations. Such recognition also extends to many First Nations peoples throughout the world, who continually learn from both the wisdom passed down from their Ancestors and from more contemporary narratives of survival and strength against the ever-present forces of colonisation. Unfortunately, colonisation has repeatedly appropriated and distorted the Stories of our past (and present), creating blatant – and, at times, subtle – weapons of racism and erasure. Through a series of powerful critiques of fiction, media, politics and law incorporated in her work across more than two decades, Eualayai/Gamillaroi scholar Larissa Behrendt has identified ‘colonial storytelling’ as the very forge of these weapons of appropriation, distortion and cultural genocide.
At its simplest, colonial storytelling is – as Behrendt defined it in her 1998 essay ‘In your dreams’ – when white storytellers mould Aboriginal cultural practices into mechanisms for conflict, mystery and terror…more intent on hooking a white audience rather than protecting, preserving and respecting a black one.
In this way, colonial storytellers speak for profits and prestige (political or otherwise) rather than truth-telling our histories. As a result, over time, seemingly benign stories of stranded white women being saved from ‘uncivilised barbarians’, or some lost tribe of ‘noble savages’ in need of a white saviour, come to reflect the many media and political representations of Indigenous peoples today. The truths behind the voices, customs, values and knowledges – behind our Stories – are erased to meet some close-the-gap narrative that better represents white people’s ‘ideal’ (and biased) representations of us.
As Behrendt explored in Finding Eliza (2016), the ramifications of colonial storytelling are as diverse as they are immense: these stories don’t just ‘appear in a vacuum; they meander into our value systems and our institutions’. They can bias and infect the knowledges and very actions of schoolteachers, celebrities, politicians, the police and judges. One seemingly benign example appears in nearly every Australian library: the collections of ‘Indigenous Myths and Legends’ that have reduced Ancestral Dreaming Stories to single pages filled with colonial letters that simply tell how some flower or river came to be. But in privileging stories stolen and distorted by white people, what is at risk of being lost?
As the fires grew warmer and higher, and the lands of the Yandelora were increasingly caressed with many voices of joy, so Wiritjiribin decided that it was time to stand back to let the Law-Makers begin. Wiritjiribin moved to a nearby mountain range – and perched by the nest of Mananga, the Eagle-Warrior, whose sharp eyes also guarded these lands. It was at this point that a young man by the name of Galinga arrived. He had travelled many moons and was very tired, but at the same time he was very excited. This was the first time he had been chosen to represent his Clan, and he was very proud. He would not let his Clan down.
So when he walked onto the meeting place he did not show his tiredness, but instead stood tall and proud and spoke with great strength. In return, he received many warm greetings and compliments, for Galinga was a very charismatic man. But not only that, his voice held a great power, for it was one that commanded respect, showed great beauty and held a phenomenal range. After the greetings were finished, Galinga began to sing, and all the Law-Makers of all the lands became mesmerised…
TO APPRECIATE HOW simplistic the books based on Indigenous myths and legends truly are, it is necessary to first understand the true depths of Indigenous Stories. The focus of Indigenous Storywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit – a seminal 2008 book by Stó:lō and St’at’imc scholar Jo-ann Archibald – does much to assist in this understanding by sharing and discussing numerous Indigenous Stories (with clear permission granted). One of the first stories shared reverberates not only throughout the book but as a typical example – or prediction – of so many of the colonial misrepresentations of Indigenous and First Nations peoples around the world. This is a Chikasaw story of Coyote who, at night, only searched for his precious bone needle around the comfortable light of his campfire instead of looking where the needle was truly lost, down by the river. While amusing on its surface, the depths of this story resonate powerfully through academia, media, politics and public opinion: consider the surplus of ‘opinion pieces’ on Indigenous issues written by non-Indigenous peoples; consider, at the very least, how easily these stories can be found, and what their writing may really represent.
Encouragingly, Archibald’s work does not just provide a critique of shallow engagements with Indigenous Stories; it also teaches a set of seven key principles on how to deeply engage with Indigenous Stories: respect, responsibility, reciprocity, reverence, holism, interrelatedness and synergy.
The first four of these focus on the key learnings of the Stories and the positive values and knowledges that may emerge from them for the storyteller and storylistener. The remaining three emphasise the qualities of storytelling processes – processes that can contribute to mental, intellectual, physical and spiritual development, and how these learnings can influence kin, communities and Countr(ies) over time.
In a separate paper, ‘An Indigenous storywork methodology’, Archibald stated ‘I hold out my hand to share my Storywork methodology with you’ as she also echoed the teachings of one of her Elders who suggests that we take what may be useful. At the same, though, Archibald offers a warning:
The danger exists when we do not have a deep understanding of the power and beauty of Indigenous stories. As Old Man Coyote joins the circle of Indigenous methodology, he holds out his palm and smiles, wondering how we and future generations will look for the bone needle.
As Galinga sang he saw all the Law-Makers become spellbound, and he was proud. But in his joy, Galinga forgot that this meeting was not just a celebration, but much more. And so, as Galinga continued to sing, the most senior of Law-Makers woke from their trance and began to move away. Others soon followed, and even though Galinga raised his voice, his audience quickly dwindled. Galinga tried harder, but to no avail, so he followed the Law-Makers. It was then that Galinga was told to be quiet, and to even go away. Rage immediately burned inside him, for his Clan had always shown him the utmost respect when he sang. So Galinga’s rage became not only for himself, but for his people. How dare they disrespect him.
In a short time, Galinga had honed his rage into a devious weapon, and moved to a nearby waterhole where he knew many would refresh themselves. Here he hid among the reeds and waited patiently. It was not long before two warriors arrived, two good friends: Dadjiriwa, the Willy-Wagtail, and Burra, the Grey Kangaroo. And as they drank, a gruff voice emerged from the reeds: ‘I can’t believe Burra even made it here. Everyone thinks he is a great traveller, but he is really just stupid… He is so stupid that he always gets lost, yet he hops and hops and hops, so that eventually he stumbles to where he is meant to be.’
Burra and Dadjiriwa were shocked to hear the voice of Wumbat so clearly, but as Burra stood tall in anger, another voice leaped from the reeds.
‘We all know Burra is stupid – hahaha – but what of Dadjiriwa, he who thinks himself to be so brave – hahaha! He is just small and insignificant…but oh-so-vain!’ It was now the laughing voice of Gugurra the Kookaburra that pierced Dadjiriwa’s pride. To both the warriors’ credit, they remembered that they were on the land of peace, and that no harm should be caused. So, despite their anger, they turned their backs on the cowards they thought were hiding in the reeds and returned to the great meeting, both vowing to never speak to Wumbat or Gugurra again…
ONE FOCUS FOR this essay is to outline a research project undertaken in partnership with Elders and Knowledge Holders from the D’harawal Traditional Descendants and Knowledge Holders Circle – aka The Circle. This partnership was originally inspired by the seminal works of Indigenous Australian scholars who have engaged with varying Indigenous storytelling methodologies in academia, including Karen Martin, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Tracey Bunda, Glen Stasiuk and Frances Wyld. The Circle’s priority was to honour their D’harawal Ancestors and the Garuwanga (Ancestral Dreaming) Stories that have been passed on through the immeasurable generations. Rather than rely on predetermined principles of other Indigenous and First Nations scholars, The Circle chose to explore the inherent values and protocols adhered to when sharing and teaching these D’harawal Stories. As a result, a set of twenty-five interrelated protocols were established – includ- ing responsibility, Country, mentorship, transparency, gifting, governance, consensus and resistance. While these protocols were not specifically targeted at any one Story, they have to date been successfully applied to yarns involv- ing eight D’harawal Stories: the Yandelora Story is the first.
An in-depth discussion of each of these protocols is beyond the scope (and word limit) of this narrative, but they merge into three overarching themes that align with the very Law of the Yandelora Story itself: Yewing nandiri’marri – the ‘what is’ protocols – are those embedded within the Garuwanga Stories across the generations, regardless of who the storyteller and/or listener may be. For example, for the protocol of interrelatedness (Madutji), the connection of our Stories through space, place and time must be understood, and the Ancestral Spirits must be remembered and honoured:
…it’s about trying to keep in touch with our Ancestors, to follow in their footsteps, to ask them for their wisdom and guidance, to try and be a strong Aboriginal woman, try and pass the knowledge on to my children, and particularly my grandchildren, so that our culture remains alive, true and honest with our Stories…our way
– Bookerrikin the Golden Wattle
(Cultural pseudonyms have been chosen by each Circle member)
Yewing nandiri’wa – the ‘what I see’ protocols – align most strongly with the lens of the individual storytellers; this is what they may personally see and do for any Story being told. At times these protocols and values may vary; sometimes they may be shared. One example of a shared value can be found in strength (Walunadarang), where in remembering our Stories, storytelling should not only be strong but should recognise that our Stories can help us all in different ways. They also help us grow as storytellers:
Life, if I hadn’t had the Stories, I’d have been dead a long time ago
– Burrumurring the Wedge-Tailed Eagle
They’re core values of what we feel that we should become in the end of our journey here on Earth
– Wugan the Raven
And that’s what I like about this idea, leaving something valuable for the younger ones to come along
– Garrawi, the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
Yewing nandiri’mi – the ‘what you see’ protocols – were named by The Circle to offer a recognition and respect to those who may hear the Stories. This is encompassed in the need to respect how storylisteners may be affected by (or even relate to) the Stories themselves, and these ‘what you see’ protocols could include both understandings and misunderstandings. For example, connections (Gamarada) recognise that other Nation Groups may have similar Stories, suggesting deep and respectful shared Storylines and Songlines prior to colonisation. Linked to this is diversity (Narang), the need to overcome possible tensions between Nation Groups by respecting that connected Stories may differ in significant ways (for example, through a telling of other Countries and/or individual meanings):
…we don’t want to have to go through all that rigmarole arguing about who owns this and who owns that… I believe we should have some sort of disclaimer stating where the Stories come from, whose permission is given and we’re sorry if we offend anybody else… There are other versions of this Story told by different tribes, but this is our tribal story
– Garrawi, the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
Through these twenty-five protocols and their three overarching themes, the depths of responsibility felt and lived by The Circle members can be better understood. By understanding this, people may begin to better understand the importance of the Garuwanga (Ancestral) Dreaming Stories for us as D’harawal peoples, and even many other Nation Groups. Yet it must be recognised that our Stories do not survive in isolation from colonisation itself:
You get people…telling you ‘That’s not the true story’ or ‘That’s not the correct story’… Someone’s written it down… And you’ve got this colonised view of some Aboriginal academics… ‘No, that’s not how it was written in 1830 [by a coloniser]…it’s not authentic…’
– Wiritjiribin the Lyrebird
Galinga’s revenge worked, and it worked again and again… Gugurra swore to ignore Wugan the Raven for calling him a mindless fool, while Burrugin the Echidna responded in-kind after hearing Magudan the Blue-Tounged Lizard label him a prickly bore. Djunguwaragal spat an oath of silence with Diruwan the Magpie, all due to the foul words of Duluma and Bayarl the Garfish, who accused them of being abusive and neglecting of their children respectively. Repeatedly the lies rang through the reeds, striking deep in the spirits of all on the lands of the Yandelora. Not once though did the words result in violence, but the campfires burnt lower, the singing stopped and all returned to their campsites, glaring out with thinly veiled contempt.
It was then that Wiritjiribin, still perched on the mountain top, realised that some- thing was wrong, for the great meeting was not coming to an end and the land did not echo with joyful farewells. Rather there was a stillness and deathly silence. As quickly as possible, Wiritjiribin glided back to the meeting grounds but it was too late.
Suddenly the silence was shattered with an accusation, and this accusation collided with a counter-accusation. The anger flared and spread quickly as more accusations danced with barbed denials, and these denials then spun around thinly veiled threats. The threats were thrown back, and the sparks grew into a friction that suddenly burned with violence. Claws, talons, teeth and wood again became weapons of harm, and Wiritijiribin returned to witness the Law of the Yandelora broken.
AN ABUNDANCE OF books and ‘resources’ published by non-Indigenous authors have appropriated, retold and (mis)translated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ‘Dreamtime’ stories, such as CW Peck’s Australian Legends (1925) and Dreamtime Heritage: Australian Aboriginal Myths by Ainslie and Melva Jean Roberts (1975). While simple rejection of these stolen ‘works’ is tempting, it needs to be recognised that their history tells an important story. What’s now thought of as a classic collection of ‘Dreamtime stories’ from the Sydney region (and beyond) can be found in various publications by Peck from the mid-1920s to the early 1930s. By focusing on Peck’s 1933 collection of fifty-two stories, many have traced the sharing of these stories to Ellen Anderson (‘Princess Ellen’ in Peck’s book), the daughter of a renowned Dharawal Elder, Biddy Giles. But not only did Peck spend only limited time with the Anderson family (and not just Ellen), that relationship quickly soured. Non-Indigenous scholar Chris Illert found evidence for this in an interview with Ellen’s sister Rosie, who revealed that the family, after working with him for around a month, found that Peck ‘became savage, and would hardly give them anything, excepting a few of the men, myself and a couple of nieces, who received a few shillings’ – a shilling would be equal to about $4 today.
As recent work by strong Aboriginal public-relations scholars Teena Clark, Shannan Dodson, Nancia Guivarra and Yatu Widders Hunt has emphasised, this type of extractive relationship between non-Indigenous peoples and Indigenous custodians is sadly typical throughout colonial history. There is a much greater depth and length of thinking required than a month’s worth of work to even begin to understand Indigenous Stories – let alone reproduce fifty-two of them – as was noted by the non-Indigenous historian Michael Organ in his 2014 paper ‘CW Peck’s Australian Legends: Aboriginal Dreaming Stories of Eastern Australia’, which reported on the masses of published collections of Indigenous stories by non-Indigenous peoples (including Peck’s). Organ suggested that it ‘is unfortunate that in most Australian bookshops, one can still find compilations of Aboriginal “myths and legends” presented in a sterile, anglicised and juvenile form, stripped of context and meaning’. Despite the recognition of tensions surrounding the retelling/stealing of these stories, both Illert and Organ conclude that Peck’s collection is a valuable resource for ‘future generations’ and is an important part of ‘this speaking land’.
Perhaps in the final pages of Peck’s 1933 book, the final verse of his poem to the ‘ABORIGINES [sic]’ says it best:
Then came white wings that brought them Death.
They’d lived by love – but Nature saw
In tune with God – sweet as His breath –
But now they see who is that Last,
They know their day has faded fast –
We lie – ’tis Nature’s law!
Are the lies Peck writes of limited to Social Darwinism?
Wiritjiribin remembered the Laws of the Yandelora that helped maintain the peace. So Wiritjiribin quickly stepped between the fighters, reminded them of the Laws, and took the time to speak to all the Law-Makers. Three very important things were then discovered. First, no one had seen the original insults being made, only heard. Secondly, those accused all denied making the original insults. And finally, all the original insults took place in one location, down by the waterhole.
Wiritjiribin immediately suspected a wirri, an evil-spirit that causes mischief and harm. So Wiritijiribin gathered everyone who was part of the conflicts and told them all to hide among the Dalhwah (casurinas) and Pokulbi (dianellas) that overlooked the waterhole. With everybody hiding, Wiritjiribin then moved forward to drink from the waters, and suddenly the powerful voice of Mananga – the Eagle-Warrior – shot from the reeds. ‘I cannot believe Wiritjiribin was given the responsibility to lead this great gathering. Look at it, it is so plain and boring, it has no charm. It is just the dull colours of charcoal, the death of a fire never meant to be.’
These words shocked not only Wiritjiribin but all who heard them, including Mananga himself, as these words were not only an insult directed to Wiritjiribin but also Wiritjiribin’s Ancestor who had sacrificed herself in a great fire to save many D’harawal children. Mananga, being the warrior he is, spread his wings and flew over the waterhole. With his sharp eyes Mananga quickly saw Galinga hiding in the reeds, and with his great talons and strong wings he picked him up and dropped him in front of Wiritjiribin.
Suddenly, everyone knew who had started this great wrong – everyone knew who had ‘caused’ the Laws of the Yandelora to be broken.
IN 1975, AINSLIE and Melva Jean Roberts published one of a series of collections of Aboriginal ‘myths’. Just after the title page, there is a detailed lithograph of an Aboriginal Law-Man, whose likeness has possibly been seen by nearly every Australian, yet who is known by far fewer. Above this sketch is a simple acknowledgement: ‘TO THE BROWN PEOPLE who handed down these Dreamtime Myths.’
On page forty-two begins one of those ‘myths’, simply titled ‘The mimics’. In fewer than 300 words, it tells of many animals getting into a battle because a frog had mimicked their voices, causing them to fight. The story notes that only the lyrebird ‘did not take part in the uproar’, but then moves on to explain that the fighting annoyed ‘the spirits’, who punished all the animals by taking away their common language and forcing them to adopt a language of their own. Because the lyrebird did not take part in the fighting, ‘the spirits’ rewarded it with the ability to ‘imitate all the animals, birds, reptiles and insects’. The final paragraph gives the lesson of the story:
And so the lyrebird became the greatest mimic of all, and the Aborigines [sic] took care not to annoy it. They knew, through their mythology [sic], that what happened because of the frog might well happen again if the lyrebird was not kept in a happy frame of mind.
In the yarning sessions focused on the Yandelora Story, The Circle spent much longer discussing the story than the minute it takes to read out this paragraph. Rather, The Circle spoke of how their lives were interwoven with the many lessons from the Story. They spoke of the connections within the Story, the meetings of many Nation Groups and their linked storylines. They spoke of the many protocols that helped maintain these connections and conduct meetings, such as the deeper meaning behind the arguably cliched contemporary understanding of Message Sticks. They spoke of the Laws embedded within the Story, for example, of how the punishments were designed to reduce the ability to harm. They spoke of the importance of storytelling, how the Story may vary across storytellers, and how the secondary antagonists may strategically vary according to who is listening. They spoke of the harms the Story warns of, ranging from false pride to the damage of colonial voices (or colonial storytelling) today.
Finally, they spoke of the truth, the Law of the Story, the layer of meaning that must never be forgotten when truly telling this Story, which is what Wiritjiribin truly embraced.
It is the truth of this Yandelora Story that highlights the dangers of colonial storytelling today, for as one of The Circle representatives – Kannabi the Storyteller – revealed concerning a workplace policy they had been ‘asked to approve’:
I guess there was Galinga on the original statement that really misrepresented us…it wasn’t a nasty thing; it was the Galinga of good intent where the lines were like… ‘I’ve done the right thing, but I didn’t know what I was missing…’
[It’s about] respecting our voices…as opposed to just assuming [their] words solved everything…yet it could have been a huge problem for another day.
And the peoples looked at Galinga, and felt their hate sweep away from their friends to target Galinga directly. Insults were spat in Galinga’s direction, calls for justice were screamed, and some took it upon themselves to serve this justice. Wiritjiribin tried to stop them, to remind them that this was the Yandelora, but the now finely honed rage was too much, and Galinga’s screams washed over the lands.
By now a powerful Spirit had fully awoken. This Spirit was a great traveller, and was using the Yandelora, the lands the Spirit created, to rest peacefully. The Spirit had seen all that had happened, and picked up the cowering Galinga: ‘You have not only betrayed the Laws of this land, but you have used your abilities to harm your brothers and sisters, so I shall remove them.’
Galinga suddenly felt his legs buckle to remain forever bent so that he could only hop. His smooth dark skin became abrasive and slimy, his back forever hunched, and his voice was taken so he could now only croak.
The people saw this and they cheered for the justice that had been served. But Wiritjiribin looked on with sadness, for in that brief time Wiritjiribin had seen a talented young man in Galinga. Talents now lost to all.
The Spirit saw this and saw the happiness of the others, so the Spirit turned to all the peoples and said: ‘If you had only obeyed the Laws of the Yandelora, the truths that helped maintain the peace, then Galinga’s efforts would have failed. So now I take away your ability to speak to each other. You must learn each other’s language if you wish to understand each other again…’
To Wiritjiribin she simply turned to and said, ‘You shall keep the ability to speak all languages.’
IN JUNE 1988, the Australian $2 coin came into circulation, and there was excitement over the image of the Aboriginal man depicted there. This was seen by some as a sign of reconciliation, of how Australia has embraced ‘its’ Aboriginal peoples. Some have looked a little deeper and know that the image is a likeness of a Warlpiri-Anmatyerre Law-Man known as ‘Jimmy’ Tjungurrayi. In ‘Resisting the Captured Image’ (2007), non-Indigenous scholar Jillian Barnes notes that a wide range of images – including photo- graphs and drawings – of Tjungurrayi have been produced for many books, stamps, advertising and tourism campaigns.
Does this suggest that the $2 coin really represents Australia embracing ‘its’ Aboriginal peoples? Barnes notes that these images were often presented with narratives about ‘Aboriginal reconstruction and romanticism’ – such as assimilation and white saviours – or to disparage Aboriginal peoples and men as being primitive, uncivilised and violent. However, a critical part of Barnes’ research was the coverage of Tjungurrayi’s early life on Anmatyerre Country, where Tjungurrayi was a survivor of the Coniston massacre in 1928 – the last ‘recorded’ massacre in which local Aboriginal voices suggest that upwards of 170 Aboriginal people were killed.
There are other layers of colonial storytelling to add to this story. The Australian Royal Mint website officially recognises the artist behind the image on the $2 coin as German-born man Horst Hahne. The image was explained as an ‘archetype’ of an Aboriginal Elder. But it was noted that this image was ‘inspired’ and adapted from another non-Indigenous artist: Ainslie Roberts. Roberts had used ‘some of the features’ of Tjungurrayi (including scarring) in creating the well-known lithograph that is widely accepted as being Tjungurrayi today. Indeed, according to research by Kamilaroi woman Karina Marlow for NITV in 2016, Roberts did ‘work with’ Tjungurrayi for a brief period in the 1950s. Remembering Peck ‘working with’ the Andersons, we wonder what Tjungurrayi gained from working with Roberts then, and in any future ‘works’ that brought Roberts profit? For it is this lithograph that appears on page five of Dreamtime Heritage, the Aboriginal ‘myths’ book that contains the ‘story’ of ‘The mimics’ – a book that lists Ainslie’s name first.
As you sit down to read some quaint old Aboriginal ‘myths and legends’ book you find in a library or second-hand bookshop, are you really reading ‘Dreamtime’ stories? Or are you reading some colonial form of ‘inspired by’ that has erased our peoples and the meanings of our Stories? Returning to the wisdom of Behrendt’s work in Finding Eliza, why celebrate the constructed images of colonial storytelling? Rather we should recognise, as she says, that this is ‘not a reconciliation between black and white Australia. This is about reconciling with one’s own dark history, not by confronting it but by rewriting it.’
A much deeper commitment to truth-telling is needed today. It is not just about finding and reading about ‘Indigenous Stories’ (traditional or contemporary); it is about understanding where these stories have come from, and who they may have erased. It is about a much deeper searching, listening and learning that can only take place if you respectfully and ethically engage with the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities. It is about understanding your place in, and resistance to, the ongoing weaponisation of colonial storytelling.
All D’harawal Knowledges and voices shared within this paper are done with the permission (through full consensus) of the D’harawal Traditional Descendants and Knowledge Holders Circle. The Circle and all authors note that this paper includes Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) belonging to the D’harawal peoples and potentially Aboriginal communities, custodians or Traditional owners from other Nation Groups. ICIP rights are Indigenous heritage and should always remain with these groups, and should not be reproduced without permission.
Note: This project is funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous grant titled “Shielding our Futures: Storytelling with Ancestral and Living Knowledges” (IN190100014) and adheres to AIATSIS Indigenous ethical principles as approved by the UTS Human Research Ethics Committee (ETH19-3549).
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About the author
Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, with members of the D’harawal Traditional Descendants and Knowledge Holders Circle
Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews is a D’harawal man and Indigenous Studies scholar working at Western Sydney University and also affiliated with the University of Technology Sydney. 'The...
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