Rosalie Kunoth Monks & Djiniyini Gondarra

“First and foremost Aboriginal culture in the NT in particular and in remote parts of Australia is alive . . . I am a citizen – just – of Australia. But first and foremost I am an Aboriginal woman. Cultured, noble with a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. We have a law that binds us to live a meaningful life on this earth. To live a life that cares not only for the land. I think people have heard it many times, a lot of people say “The earth is our mother”. It’s a bit more deeper than that. This land gives me my identity, my language gives me my identity and my customary practices gives me a way of expressing who I am.”

(Rosalie Kunoth Monks)

“The Aboriginal leaders, senior leaders, both men and women in this country have always been with open arms, saying to you, come and and taste the spirituality of this country of our country, please touch being being a part of this country. We, we who are the victims in our own lands, we are the initiators saying come you are friend, you are our neighbour . . .

To establish a reconciliation, Aboriginal reconciliation in this country, trying to bring, we want trying to bring the diversity of the people in this country, people with a different walks of life and culture, coming together. We are trying, through reconciliation, we try to break a system that . . . one would say is creating apartheid, racism, dividing of class. We’re trying through this reconciliation to bring people together, to put their hands together, and to look how do we solve this problem, how to move together.

. . . So what we need to do in the city, in this country of ours, is really enter into a covenant, a covenant between me and you, where you and I will walk together.

(Djiniyini Gondarra)

Over recent decades, Indigenous elders from different nations have offered their cultural and spiritual knowledge to non-Indigenous people and Indigenous people who have lost their connection to country. The Warlpiri community of Lajamanu are continuing this practice with their Kurdiji 1.0 Aboriginal suicide prevention app, which will share the resilience-building ideas of Kurdiji with young Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. You can help make their dream a reality by donating at http://www.kurdijiproject.com and sharing the campaign.

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(photograph by Judith Crispin)

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