This year, my family and I have decided to dive in for a worthy cause and will be participating in the Swim for the Reef event, by swimming across Lake Eacham and back. Thanks to the generosity of many friends, family members and colleagues, we have helped to raise much needed funding for the Environmental Defenders’ […]
If global warming is ‘feedback’, it is vitally important that human society respond to it if we are to create a pathway to a more sustainable way of relating to our planet. Paul Hawken, environmentalist and author, aims to bridge the gap between urgency and agency, showing how we can use the power we have to […]
It is hard not to feel moved by the strong sense of spirit and customary connection to country on Mer (Murray Island). Mer is the birthplace of native title rights in Australia, and home of the late Eddie Koiki Mabo of the landmark Mabo decision by the High Court of Australia in 1992.
Speaking with Eddie’s grandson, Appie Thaiday, about his motivation to be a ranger was a humbling experience. Appie’s lifelong ambition was to be a ranger, to carry out his ancestor’s wishes by looking after the land and sea estates he and his clan members, and the Meriam Traditional Owners, are responsible for. Appie’s job as a ranger enables him to be a custodian of his traditional country.
This role in his community helps to reinforce the importance of land and sea management, and to strengthen the communal and customary ties to country that govern Indigenous people’s relationships with their lands and seas.
The term ‘country’ is much broader than simply a reference to land. Dermot Smyth in his Guidelines for Country-based Planning discusses how the term ‘country’ has been adopted by Indigenous people across Australia to describe the complex layers of meaning associated with their place of origin and belonging. [Read more]