We have what we need to proceed now. Let’s go!

“…See the impact of colonialism has been huge…we Aboriginal people are spiritual people and we are still recovering because of colonialism… There’s not a lot of understanding about that on the part of white Australia because they have this misguided belief that colonialism doesn’t affect them. Of course it does! It’s made them into the people they are today, which means they cannot hear what Aboriginal people are telling them… Many are trying to run away from their own history… As they get older and more mature [chuckles], hopefully they’ll have a better understanding… You see, that mouth of the snake… our people are in pathological grieving. Our people have retreated into the belly of the snake… it’s our consolidation of our Aboriginality, a renewing of our identity. Only recently have we begun emerging from the mouth of the snake with renewal and consolidation of who we are…” Lilla Watson Birri Gubba, Gungulu Elder Brisbane Qld.
• This story tells us about who we are, about conceptualizing ourselves as part of a great renewal and emergence, and about our survival and strength.
• It tells us that we are spiritually free to live according to our own story, agenda and understanding of the world.
• In this story, we are free, and we are sovereign because we choose our own destiny and we live it out. We do it in an innate and instinctive way, regardless of what the white people do or do not do.
• In this story, we are reminded that sometimes in our planning and efforts to help our Peoples, we minimize the spiritual, we minimize the fact that we are not alone, and we forget that there is a broader process of life and creation happening here that we should quiet ourselves and listen to every so often.
• Yes indeed we believe there is hope. We believe there is vision, we believe there is purpose in our culture that translates into today’s political, social and economic environment. We are not alone in this struggle, Ancestors are with us, and all we must do is listen to their wisdom through our stories and quiet time.
• As Aunty Mary Graham says in her paper on the Application of the Oslo Model for Relations between States and Indigenous People “A sovereign people do not plead their cause. They affirm it and they live by it”.

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time; but if you are here because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” Lilla Watson
“Until we give back to the black man just a bit of the land that was his, without strings to snatch it back, without anything but complete generosity of spirit in concession for the evil we have done him-until we do that, we will remain what we have always been so far, a people without integrity; not a nation but a community of thieves.” Xavier Herbert

• Other speakers have said:
– “Vincent Lingiari’ said we can wait – Larissa and George said don’t compromise too soon for too little and that gradual change was sensible; he also said the Process was important
– Kev Carmody said there was power and change in the wind
– Bill Jonas said it doen’t have to be one be sovereignty vs state sov
– why not dual sovereignty?
– Michael Mansell said we should not cede sovereignty in a treaty and we agree
– Darren Bloomfield said a treaty must come from the grassroots people, which is all of us here
– David Ervine said we are engaged in a process of looking into a mirror when we engage with our seeming enemies
– Dick Estens reminded us things can change when working together
– Jon Altman said a treaty must be flexible to allow for intergenerational equity/change
– Kerryn Phelps told us where treaties are in place, Indigenous health flourishes
– Lester Rigney reminded us about the power of language
– And Michael Horsbourugh confirmed for us that aat the heart of the matter is whiteaustralia’s insecure and untenable grasp on sovereignty.
The point I am making is we have what we need to proceed now. Let’s go.

The Winds of Change NIYMA’s Paper to the National Treaty Conference Canberra, 29 August, 2002 Speaking Notes

Aboriginal People lived in balance, Peace and Harmony ….


“Aboriginal People Lived in Isolated Groups and Wandered Aimlessly”… Huge Misconception!!!!!!!!

Prior to European invasion in 1788, were Aboriginal people simply nomads who wandered around the wilderness purposelessly, aimlessly?  This is what a lot of mainstream Australian society seems to think about the history of this continent pre-colonization.

“Our law enabled more than five hundred nations to live on and manage this country from the first sunrise…” – Wayne ‘Coco’ Wharton, Kooma man and veteran Aboriginal rights campaigner

These nations/tribes had established trade networks spanning hundreds of miles, facilitating the exchange of weapons, tools, ochre, food, language, song, dance and story.  Neighbouring groups would also often gather to conduct ceremony, arrange marriages and settle disputes.

Prominent First Nations artist and Gamilaraay elder Marshall Bell says legislation like the 1993 Native Title Act imposes an“isolationist” view of Aboriginal tribes and “feeds into the myth that blackfellas only lived in their own tribal areas and didn’t move out of that area”.

Listen to Uncle Marshall Bell explain how the story of Waraba the turtle dispels this myth


In order to maintain “healthy country” and equilibrium with the land, clan groups (subsections of the larger tribes/nations) would only stay in one area for a certain amount of time, typically moving around with the seasons.  For instance, the Himberrong clan of the Anaiwan nation would travel from their camp at Inglebah (one hour south of Armidale, NSW) to the coast during the winter.  This ensured there would always be sufficient food for the next season.

In his acclaimed book The Biggest Estate on Earth, Bill Gammage reveals the intricate and highly sophisticated ways in which First Nations people managed this country for thousands of years.

“There was no wilderness.  The Law – an ecological philosophy enforced by religious sanction – compelled people to care for all their country.  People lived and died to ensure this.  Management was active not passive, alert to season and circumstance, committed to a balance of life.”

Neville Bonner, the first Aboriginal person to become a Member of Parliament in Australia, noted that “there were no fences or barriers as in the traditional European way of marking land”.

“Indigenous people had their own way of dividing areas into traditional lands by using geographic boundaries such as rivers, lakes and mountains,” said Mr Bonner, a Jaggera elder.  “The knowledge about boundaries was then passed down by the elders to the younger people through songs, dance, art and storytelling.”

According to First Nations philosopher Mary Graham (Kombumerri & Waka Waka), tribal groups “had quite formal relations with their neighbours”.  Clans would often have disputes over borders and go through the process of negotiation and signing of verbal treaties. “A lot of people were multilingual and there was a whole system of law that provided meaning and social order in life,” says Ms Graham.  “It was a really well thought out and very old system.”

Listen to Aunty Mary Graham talk about some of complex workings of tribal relations





So by sharing knowledge we can make a better tomorrow for our children.

From page: http://thrivalinternational.com/australia/aboriginal-people-lived-in-balance-peace-and-harmony/

A little about page admin Kaiyu Moura (Bayles)

Now living in QLD raising her children on their traditional country, gathering food, learning the old art of building shelters, dance and the local language. For the past 20 years with her late Grandmother Maureen Watson and a dance group with 6 of her sisters Kaiyu travelled schools, festivals, events etc sharing the beauty of First Nations Culture through song and dance, stories, art, theatre, nursery rhymes, poetry etc and engaging all ages in different projects that inspire positive change. Also a poet, documentary maker, songwriter, artist, event organiser, media consultant, testing the waters of micro social enterprise by starting her own tshirt and sublimation printing business and with her own label, Kaiyu creates what she calls Freedom Threads.

After building their own home on Tribal Sovereign land, Kaiyu is now homeschooling and teaching the kids about making our own tinctures, learning about bushtucker and mushrooms, growing food, building with aircrete, setting up wind turbines, composting toilets and ram water pumps... Really learning what it truly means to thrive. This is our Group where we share alot of what we do

Kaiyu and the Tribe