Feeling and hearing country


Dinah Norman a-Marrngawi explained that her Country cannot hear English, it can only hear Yanyuwa. We support Dinah’s position – because the English language underpins the Australian colonial project, and has been used to separate, ignore and take from Country, her peoples and their knowledges. Country responds to people, however, for example when there is empathic, creative communication and engagement with landscapes, and when liyan and wirrin is the basis for human and ecological wellbeing. We propose a practice for people new to this participation; of ‘becoming family with place’. It integrates four ways of knowing, to celebrate an ontopoetic for Country that is experiential, creative, propositional and participative – a postconceptual knowing for human flourishing. It is for coming home to Country, and is for learning and educational purposes.


literature, poetic, Australian Indigenous, language

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