Connection to Land and Country*
Recorded 21 May 2021
Relationships to land and Country are complex and interrelated. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ laws and customs and ways of knowing and being in the world are intimately connected to the land and waters.
Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples believe that ancestral beings created landscapes and geographic features, as well as human society and the languages and customs for living. These spirits remain in the landscape, the sky and the waters — their life-giving and sustaining powers still exist within each living thing to this day.
Connection to land and Country respects values, places, resources, stories and cultural obligations associated with that area and its features. It describes the entirety of ancestral domains. Connection to land and Country is therefore essential to the continued cultural survival of Indigenous Australians as well as their economic and social development.
Topics discussed include:
- qualitative research on Aboriginal peoples’ relationship to their traditional land
- disciplines that illuminate an understanding of the significance of contact with the natural world
- measures that assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ to acquire, reclaim, and/or manage land, natural resources and waters, in a way that enhances social, cultural, spiritual, economic and environmental wellbeing.
- Governmental policies and practices that respect the right of First Nations peoples to self-determination and improvement of their social and economic conditions
- cultural and intellectual property and heritage rights invested in traditional knowledge
- land rights and sovereignty of First Nations peoples
- ceremony and everyday cultural praxis
Jason Eades, CEO, Welcome to Country
Tony Capon, Director, Monash Sustainable Development Institute
Jessica Spencer, Regional Project Officer, Aboriginal Environmental Health Unit
Gavin Singleton, Manager, Yirriganydji Land and Sea Ranger Program
Arthur Walker, CEO Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation