Listening to Country
We are all connected to Country so it is important to understand how everything works and notice when patterns change. Written by Sara Kianga Judge, neurodiverse Walbanja-Yuin woman.
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How do we listen to Country and why is it so important to do? Everything and everyone is Country, even you and me! That means that we are connected to everything happening around us, so it is important to understand how everything works and notice when patterns change.
First Nations peoples listen to Country in many ways.
We make family relationships with the plants, animals, rivers, mountains, sky and sea. We get to know the changing seasons and pay attention to the signals from Country that let us know what is happening. We learn who lives and belongs where, and care for the foods and shelters they need when we are in those places. We make tools, textiles, stories, dances and adornments that hold important lessons, remind us how to live good lives, and express who we are and who our Country is.
Let’s look at some examples of listening to Country
First Nations saltwater peoples listen carefully to the Ocean and the lessons Country teaches us about sea foods, materials, ecosystems and relationships. Our Oceans are asking us to care about the animals who are eating, breathing and becoming sick from these pollutants before it’s too late. Learn more.
First Nations peoples have listened to Mangroves for a long time. We hear the lessons being told in their wood by noticing the ways that their branches grow. Mangroves and Boomerangs teach us to give as often as we receive. Learn more.
Whale poo and climate change
Looking at the world as a connected web is at the heart of First Nations cultures. Whales and climate change are a really interesting example of connections that reach far and wide across Country. Learn more.
First Nations adornments are much more than just jewellery. What we wear lets others know who we are, where we are from, and what our relationships with Country are. Learn more.