Vale my friend

28 06 2018

Today I had the honour of attending the funeral of the Whadjuk elder with whom I had my strongest connection.


His funeral was attended by his many loving family members but also by hundreds from many nations and worldviews. He embodied the ability to discern the bad and embrace the godly in all cultures. This was especially developed in his Christian Aboriginal identity. He could tell what was godly from what was bad in Western culture, and the church, and he considered Christ as the transcendent, unifying reality overcoming walls of separation between people, who can put us in right relationship with God, with each other, with everything else. Shalom.

Shalom, my friend. Shalom.

This effectively pauses my personal quest for a widely accessible protocol for consent to live on Whadjuk land, and for staying tuned in to the elders. We do have an answer – wear the red-yellow-black as a sign of respect for traditional ownership. Our hopes for a Consent Ceremony are also paused, though I remain willing to participate in that work should other Whadjuk representatives take up the task.

BGC Primary School example

9 09 2014

IMG_0993Banksia Grove Catholic Primary School does this recognition perfectly.

In the foyer of the school in a prominent place, is the message stick, with a descriptor of the occasion on which it was given.

And every assembly begins with a very simple, “Nidja Noongar Boodjar Noonook Nyininy, This is Noongar land we are sitting on.”

The words also appear on their letter head.

This is a perfect example of how to respect protocol properly, without being obtrusive or awkward.