Ceremony Design

8 09 2009

[Updated 28 June 2018, after the funeral of a key Whadjuk elder today.]

A protocol ceremony [was being] imagined. A working paper [was being] prepared by myself and a key Whadjuk expert in protocols. This [would have been] shaped up further by a sub-committee of the Whadjuk elders group. Then approved by those elders. Then participated in by the families. [It might have included]:

  • a Recognition of the families & eldership so far – that’s the Whadjuk people’s initiative.
  • a Consent part – that’s us Newcomers’ initiative.
  • a Reconciliation part – for both of us, that we hope[d] to base not on legal judgement (neither aboriginal nor commonwealth) but on atonement, confession & forgiveness, on making relationships right.


Other considerations:

  • We hope[d] to avoid legal impacts on native title claims. By basing this reconciliation on relationship terms of atonement rather than legal judgement, we hope[d] to model a way forward for people of good heart. We’re not making sweeping political decisions.
  • We’re restoring a right order.
    In the time of Sovereignty, the order was:
    Spirit > Land > Whadjuk people > Outsiders, and money was hardly a thought.c
    An order of submission like this resulted in a relatively harmonious and mutual nurture.
    These days the order appears completely reversed:
    Money > us Outsiders > Whadjuk people > land > and Spirit is hardly a thought.
    An order of domination like this results in fear & abuse.
    If we can prophetically declare a new way of respectfully co-operating with those who rightly have priority over us, we declare the way forward to harmony & mutual nurture.
  • Pure-hearted participants: we want all participants to have embodied this renewed order of respect. We don’t want hypocrisy.
  • Maybe a personal ceremony first. It may be that before the wider ceremony happens, my family might be able to address our personal request for a way to show proper respect for Whadjuk sovereignty. This may be the easiest way to figure out the bigger scale ceremony & new protocols.

So… watch this space for further developments. [This idea has come to a pause with the passing of the Whadjuk elder. It may be revived if another bonafide elder picks it up.]



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