country

Yugambeh Country

Over the years both Magali and I have had differing experiences that have put us in contact with the many mobs who have protected country up here on the Gold Coast.

Magali has connections with the Bundjalung people especially through the Tweed Valley and through her old hometown for a decade at Stokers Siding, close to Murwillumbah NSW Australia. I had my own years of attending the old Lismore CAE and many years of travel up and down the Pacific highway with children spread across three states. We are up here visiting Aunty Jackie and Aunty Joyce and thats the best bit of it all here up this way as far as people go.

So it is that we are feeling very privileged to be on Yugambeh country, spending the day in forests where the Yugambeh, Ngarangwal, Nganduwal, Mibin/Miban, Danggan Balun(Five Rivers) clans would come together, long before it was logged and marginally saved by one old fella...the whole tragic story but one last remnant standing tall and strong amongst other towering cliffs nearby.

Surfers Paradise is the worst example of rampant consumerism gone wrong and the countless traditional sites that have been decimated to make way for these ugly times and ugly humans that inhabit piles of concrete boxes. It is a complete nightmare along this coastline and incredibly frightening to see the impact and pressure that a last remnant forest is under as tourists throw their coke cans into the bush, tramp through sensitive rainforest and kill off the waterways with their ridiculous canal houses.

In summary it is a place of extreme and paradoxical contrasts, absolutely amazing country in some pockets and decimated under tons of crap right next door. The cancer of estate houses and the mall after mall of shopping mayhem makes me sick. Thankfully the country will heal itself long after this scourge has left this planet.

One Law

Photo: Ronnie Roy by Alexander Hayes

Today we met with Ronnie Roe here in Broome, Western Australia who we listened to speaking of his family, his birthplace, his knowledge of country, Law and all those under that Law.

On his lap he showed us the insidious workings of native title and spoke of the many ways in which Aboriginal Australian communities are living suppressed and in breach of the International Conventions of Genocide, that the actions and behaviours of a few individuals who currently hold positions of office are contributing to the division of whole Aboriginal nations in breach of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We sat and listened to Ronnie's personal story of his struggle to support and uphold the Law of his country and the custodianship of protecting country as passed on from Paddy Roe, the Law of the Goolarabooloo, a body of cultural knowledge  known as Bugarregarra, the Dreaming.

Paddy Roe

Paddy Roe

Gularabulu

 

As stated by Ronnie and reiterated by Michael Anderson Ghillar on October 10, 2017 native title is nothing more than;

"..A crime against our humanity is the way the Native Title process has been manipulated to further dispossess First Nations. Parliamentary legislation and 'Native Title specialist lawyers' are in lockstep with the colonial power to rob Aboriginal people of their inherent rights and responsibilities to uphold the oldest continuing living culture on the planet. Here on this island continent, now known as Australia, those wielding colonial power continue to promote Native Title in positive terms, well aided by the mainstream media, but the reality is a treacherous story of theft by trickery. " 

The sadness Ronnie embodies speaks of the fight and war he is having against those who claim his country is that of other mob, other peoples of who have forced the Goolarabooloo to cede their claims, seeking to extinguish their peoples under current and continuing Westminster Law in all its horrific and continuing manifestations.

In effect, we looked into the eyes and listened with our ears to a soldier who will defend his people and all those who protect country under Law.

Listening To Country



Today we met with a number of Djugun traditional custodians north of Broome, Western Australia.

It is apparent that recent developments in this part of the world mirror the genocidal actions of others experiencing similar in places as far afield as Mexico and Argentina. The key term here is apparent - genocide.

Photo: Alexander Hayes

Photo: Alexander Hayes

What welcome to country you might ask? What means being welcome on country when the overlords of one family exclude, pillage and assume the ownership of country that has since time immemorial been and always will be the country of another mob?

So it is we must #listentocountry

Whether we choose to do this by simply acknowledging the traditional and RIGHTFUL custodians of country is a start. Each and everyone of us must stand up and speak out against the greed of those being paid $750 an hour to broker mining deals with the Koreans and the Chinese.

We must listen to and respect that fracking has no place in a country that is fragile and bereft of water that is currently plowed into keep resorts green and sick of spleen. 

We didnt travel far today but we made it our mission to be with those who matter most.

Photo: Alexander Hayes - on our way to meet with the Roe Family.

Photo: Alexander Hayes - on our way to meet with the Roe Family.

And so it is that we declare our investment in the 'Listening To Country' initiative complete with reciprocal exchanges of cultural knowledge, education and related events. A union between like minded, conscious and mostly awake people willing to make a difference where possible in listening to and disseminating the story of others.

Photo: (L) Rafael Baro and (R) Alexander Hayes

Photo: (L) Rafael Baro and (R) Alexander Hayes

The plan is to use every possible means to bring people together in cultural activities across the Kimberley Region of Western Australia to engage with traditional Aboriginal Elders and Custodians linked with the same in countries Mexico and Argentina (to begin with).

Photo: Alexander Hayes - (L) Rafael Baro and (R) Magali McDuffie