Category: the art of discipleship


Continuing to consider this years theme for NAIDOC week of “Always Was, Always Will Be” with the Collins Australian Clear School Atlas New and Revised Edition.

This image shows Economic-Population. There’s a sense looking at a map like this that there’s still Terra Nullius – land where no people are and no work is happening. You can see that the measure used for ‘economy’ – doesn’t recognise the agriculture or trade practices of Aboriginal people.

Recognising Aboriginal people must surely need to begin by recognising the profound, enduring relationship and connections they bear with the land.

“Aboriginals engaged in seed propagation, irrigation, harvest,
storage, and the trade of seed across the region.”

― Bruce Pascoe, Dark Emu

When you say/hear an Acknowledgement of country, does considering the above make you reconsider what it means? “We acknowledge that we gather on the lands of which Aboriginal people have been custodians since time immemorial, and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging”

The dashed line above denotes the ‘limits of agriculture’ (at least for the 60s-70s when this atlas was published). What can we learn about what is considered ‘agriculture’ from this image? Who gets to determine that?

Does the image raise any considerations for balance?

Always Was

This years theme for NAIDOC week is “Always Was, Always Will Be”. I’m interested in finding ways to creatively and contemplatively explore what this means as a white-presenting Settler in this place.

I love old books and paper, I’m going to use some of these as a lens: First up is the Collins Australian Clear School Atlas New and Revised Edition.

p.9 “AUSTRALIA – Territorial Changes”

These maps show the territorial changes (6) between 1786 and 1861. Here they are shown with an overlay of the AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia. It’s hard not to liken that to a shadow, a haunting overlay, crossing and connecting countries and communities across territorial lines drawn and re-drawn.

What arises when you look at these? Has your home country/town been in different states?

It’s important to understand that when you are speaking to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait person and recognise that their cultural tale is millenia-long that the image of Australia they might imagine is the reverse: Aboriginal land with state and territory lines superimposed on top. When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people say: “Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land” this is what they mean… these many countries and territories existed prior to 1786 and they are still here.

Yesterday, Gomeroi woman, Rachel McPhail, living on Wiradjuri country did a call out to challenge Australia Post to encourage Aussies to include the traditional Nation name in the extra address line when sending letters and packages. To support this idea, you can check traditional Nations at AIATSIS.gov.au.

Lent word: Fear

Skids across the table. Half the almost-complete puzzle slides off and he just peers down at it on the floor. There’s no fear here.  What if we looked at our mistakes as exploring? What if we looked at others’ mistakes as exploring? #fear #mataku

We are looking for bears. We are looking for Easter eggs. We looking for ways to connect and be together while we are apart. We are looking for ways to show care for, and bring joy to, our neighbours and neighbourhood. We are looking for ways to make people smile and I am encouraged. #looking #titiroana

Today we got a kitten. He’s pretty great. His name is Ragnar. #great #hira

A new dawn for my plant might be the last day for these caterpillars! Hope is a strange creature. We sit in this paradox, some of us like the familiar holey system, something must die for something new to grow in its place. It’s painful. We grieve it. Especially when we don’t personally  have anything against cute little green caterpillars.   #dawn #atapūao

#watch #mataara

My walk today felt all about light… like I failed to find what I was looking for. But when I thought about it. There’s darkness and shadows in these pictures too. There’s always darkness where there’s light #darkness #põuri

Slowed. Stopped. Redirected… when will we be delivered? Deliver to us. Deliver us from.  #deliver #tuku

This might seem a little silly but… we’ve 3D printed a fairy door for the garden.

Where my goddaughter and I tackled a jungle of weeds, there is now a bed of flowers and a little stack of logs to provide habitat and nectar for bugs, bees and butterflies in the garden.

A fairy door might seem like a childish thing, but I have believed in things I cannot see for as long as I can remember… I hope I always do that. I hope my goddaughter does too

#innocence #harakore