I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which I work, the Boon Wurrung peoples, part of the greater Kulin Nation and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and to our future Elders, our Koori children.
Arnam Liber – Living Library Heritage Blog pages have been set up as a platform to share my learnings and experiences as a recipient of the State Library of Victoria’s 2017 Margery C Ramsay Scholarship. My project is titled, Strengthening the cultural identity of communities through libraries.
The scholarship project is multifaceted incorporating travel to remote communities in the Northern Territory, research and action learning, coursework in Intangible Heritage at Deakin University and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
The first series of blog pages capture our 9-day journey from a wintry Melbourne to the Top End of Australia, to visit the Northern Territory Library Service and remote communities in East Arnhem Land, Kakadu, Jabiru and Alice Springs. The final stage of the scholarship involves working with Boon Wurring Elder Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir and the team at Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages to develop a library framework for delivering bilingual early years’ programs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families on Country and then linking them back to their local library.
With the support of Melbourne University’s Indigenous Health and Equity Unit and Australia’s First 1000 Days Project, I was able to invite my dear friend and colleague Boon Wurrung Elder Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir to accompany me on the journey to the Top End.
Together Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir and I we were able to share our story about developing an Indigenous early years bilingual library program on Country with the NTLS team, local NGOs, Aboriginal Elders, traditional clan members, Indigenous Health and Education academics. This was an experience that validated and strengthened our work and spirits, inspiring knowledge- sharing that linked our bottom-up approach to those adopting similar practices in the Top End.
Thank you for reading and following along this journey with us.
I would like to personally acknowledge and pay my respects the traditional landowners of Guluwin’ku, the Yolngu peoples. Traditional owners of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) the Arrernte people and the Traditional Owners of Jawoyn Country where Kakadu National Park is based, the Mirrar Peoples of Jabiru and the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people of Uluru Kata Tjuta.
I leave the Top End forever changed, with an ever deepening respect and love of Aboriginal culture and Country and gratitude for receiving their generosity of spirit in sharing their Country, cultural knowledge, language, law and stories of their Ancestors with those who visit.
The views expressed in the Arnam Liber Blog Pages do not reflect the views of the State Library of Victoria, Casey Cardinia Library Corporation or the Northern Territory Library Service.
The Blog’s content has been gathered experientially as part of the Margery C Ramsay scholarship’s action based learning process; spending time on Country, yarning with community, engaging in round table discussions, hearing information from cultural leaders, guides and Elders and my own life long re-learning journey about Australia’s Aboriginal cultural heritage and history.
All Boon Wurrung Language translations and permissions remain with Fay Stewart-Muir.
Any Aboriginal cultural knowledge, languages, stories mentioned in these Blog Pages do not belong to me, they belong to the individual Clan Owners of each traditional Country (within Australia) that I had the privilege of visiting and which they felt appropriate to share with visitors.
Other non Aboriginal WordPress publication content copyrights remain with Sarah Bingle.