Join me and Australian Aboriginal Elder, Wiruungga Dunggiirr (www.dreamtimewalkabout.com) in a wide-ranging conversation about permaculture, finding life purpose, bush foods, bush medicines, the Dreamtime, creating a new Dreaming, going walkabout and creating a shared culture.
With great humour and humility, Wiruungga, an Elder from the Namba Gumbaynggiirr Nation, in the central coast of New South Wales, gives us a fascinating insight into Aboriginal culture, but also the reality of life on Aboriginal communities today. He often fills up his bus and takes loads of clothes, food, toys and other basic household items out into the desert and Aboriginal stations.
I love the way Wiruungga talks about old permaculture and new permaculture - this makes so much sense. I think there is so much more we can learn from old permaculture ways. He teaches aboriginal studies, spiritual healing, bush tucker, bush medicine, rituals from the Never-Never, dance, ceremonies, fire ceremonies, making boomerangs and stone tools. Wiruungga has been present during permaculture workshops we have led at our place to chat with participants. He has also led one of our Nature Kids programs - teaching them art, dance and language. When he’s not on walkabout, we are honoured when he is able to join us and share his knowledge and gentle wisdom.
Wiruungga also takes non-indigenous people on walkabout to explore Aboriginal culture, to learn about bush medicine, bush foods, spirit, dance and more. He takes people into the desert, to meet with aboriginal communities and meet with Elders. You can help him deliver clothes and basic household items and where needed set up fresh food gardens.
Wiruungga in front of his fully loaded bus - getting ready to set off on another journey to Aboriginal communities to deliver food and clothing, and reconnect himself spiritually. He'll be gone for at least five weeks.
Wiruungga's rainbow bus.
I'm hoping soon to go walkabout with him, with my family, to learn more about bush foods, bush medicine, but of course also about the culture that has sustained this landscape and its people for tens of thousands of years. I want my children to grow up learning from and understanding more about the indigenous culture of this land, directly from indigenous people and being out in nature.
We met and chatted in the talking circle at the Maleny Neighbourhood centre - a great spot surrounded by bushfoods and permaculture gardens.
We had such a great conversation and covered so many different topics. You'll find these themes in the film. 0:49 Journeys to Keep Culture Alive 1:39 Time for the New Dreaming 3:47 Old Permaculture New Permaculture 5:07 Getting Gardens started in Aboriginal Communities 7:55 Not Enough fresh Food in Aboriginal Communities 8:24 Too Much Sugar 8:54 Healing Diabetes with Bush Food and Bush Medicine 9:47 Going Walkabout to Harvest Healthy Food 11:25 How do you Find Water in the Desert 11:25 How is Deep Knowledge of the Land Passed On? 12:35 Wiruungga’s Very Long Hair 13:49 Wiruungga on Being Himself 13:49 What is Life All About?... Explaining the Dreaming 15:22 The New Dreaming 17:25 We are One Mob... Let’s Care for the Earth 18:09 Supporting the People of the Desert 22:09 Building Bridges and Opening Conversations 23:12 Wiruungga’s Funny Encounter in the Forest 26:04 Advice from an Elder 27:18 Where did Wiruungga get his Bush Medicine Knowledge? 28:45 Sharing Knowledge of Culture Freely... 30:49 Are you Listening? 31:47 Bushtucker Tea and Drinks 34:29 Natural Personal Care in the Bush 34:29 Eating in the Bush and Natural Wrapping 38:24 Build a Gunyah - the Indigenous Tiny House 38:20 What’s smudging for? 39:30 How do Non-Indigenous Connect with Land? 41:04 Connection Through Totems 43:30 How to Connect with Wiruungga Dunggiirr 44:40 Clothing and Toys Needed for Women and Children 46:03 Ask ‘Why Am I Here on Mother Earth?’ I encourage you to grab a cuppa and sit down to enjoy the film above.