Pukarrikarta-jangka muwarr – Stories about caring for Karajarri country
Dwyer, A. (2012). Pukarrikarta-jangka muwarr – Stories about caring for Karajarri country. The Australian Community Psychologist, 24(1), 7-19.
I am a Karajarri woman from Bidyadanga community in Western Australia. As a researcher at the Nulungu Research Institute, located at the Yawuru buru (Broome) campus, of the University of Notre Dame Australia, I am often required to bring together traditional knowledge and Western rationalist approaches to knowledge generation in my research endeavours. This article reflects on my cultural background, knowledge, traditional language and beliefs. It locates these important elements of my life in contemporary modern Australia, and challenges the prevailing colonial frameworks that continue to undermine the legitimate use of our knowledge to manage our homelands. Using my Karajarri family to illustrate, this article explains the importance of caring for country and describes the belief systems that establish and maintain our cultural obligations to country. The importance and connectedness of language to country is highlighted, and the significance and value of country is demonstrated through our spiritual understandings and cultural practices.