Journey by Dawn

It is not us who own the land, but the land owns us: Australian Aboriginal tour Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne

Last weekend I took an Australian Aboriginal walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne. It was very interesting to learn about the different plants and taste tea from some; listen to stories and poetry by a local aboriginal man, and enjoy the Australian sunshine.

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To join the tour you can book online and it’s 35 AUD.

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A purse made from Kangaroo skin

One interesting story the man told us is about how the Europeans, when they came to Australia, introduced blankets… and in the rain they used to get soaked with water. When the aboriginals used them, they got sick and died. So the western solution to something that was not a problem, didn’t help. In fact one of the lessons he said:

if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.

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Smoking ceremony to show gratitude for elders, children, youth and travellers

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Some very soft leaves, when asked what they could be used  for, someone in the group suggested: for toilet paper! haha 🙂

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Layers of bark from this tree are used to make paper

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Sharp plants!

Another interesting story was about young Aboriginal men, who feel like they want to prove themselves to be strong, would be challenged to climb up a tree covered in these sharp plants, to reach the top. An activity that sheds a lot of blood and tests endurance to the maximum.

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Lemon flavour leaves

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Made into scented herbal tea

In the spiritual world of Aboriginal Australia, nature has so much more meaning than what we think. It has so much more to offer than we know. I was deeply touched by one story of western people approaching aborigines to buy land, but the Aboriginals would say:

It is not we who own the land but the land who owns us.

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Australian Aboriginal flag

Meaning of the Australian Aboriginal Flag:

The yellow circle or Sun: Giver and protector of life; Red colour for the Australian soil colour and all the meaning that it holds for us; Black represents the Aboriginal people of Australia

A poem written by our guide Dennis Fisher 

People have keys to their house and keys to their car so that no one can take them.

The land is my key. The key to my identity; key to my language; key to my culture and key to my heart.

This key was taken. I work each day to restore that connection to the land and to help others understand that the land is the source of who I am.

Aboriginal people don’t lock away what they have because it belongs to everyone. Our way is to welcome everyone and work together.

 

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