10 ways to be a Taungurung ally this National Reconciliation Week

May 17, 2024

It doesn’t matter where you are on your ally journey, all that matters is that you’re on the journey. There are so many ways to be a great ally and it’s important to know that all First Nations communities are different and will have a different perspective on what a great ally is. National Reconciliation Week is a time for allies to stand up and take time for self-reflection, conversations, and meaningful actions towards creating an inclusive and culturally safe society where First Nations’ rights, culture and values are recognised, respected, and celebrated.  

We encourage you to rally up your workmates, family or friends and make a shared commitment to be an ally for the Taungurung Nation.

The first step is taking responsibility for growing your cultural literacy. Here’s how:

1. Learn more about Australia’s history and the ongoing impacts of colonisation

The first step to building safe and respectful relationships with Taungurung community and all First Nations People, is to know the impact of colonisation on First Peoples both past and present. The commitment and compassion of all Australians to learn the truth through the perspectives of First Peoples, is crucial in building reconciliation. Resources: Listen to accounts from the Yoorrook Justice Commission , enrol in a cultural awareness program with wawa biik, or Koorie Heritage Trust, or enrol in an online course with Centre for Cultural Competence Australia.

2. Engage in a respectful way that enables our self-determination

Respectful engagement with the Taungurung Land and Waters Council starts with questioning your intentions and approach. Understand that different ways of working apply and be willing to shift your deadlines and priorities to align with ours. Understand the deficit narratives that often hold back meaningful engagement with First Peoples and engage us for our strengths, leadership and authority on matters concerned with our People, Culture and Country. Ensure your engagement respects and enables the self-determination of Taungurung community in achieving our aspirations. We care about partnerships with the broader community but our rights, our values, and community benefits must be prioritised for these partnerships to work. Resources: Taungurung Land and Waters Council Strategic Plan 2021-2025 and Passing the Message Stick.

3. Understand the Treaty process

Recognise the unique opportunity we have as Victorians to activate this important next step for First Nations communities in Victoria. Treaty will advance self-determination for all First Nations Victorians, activating our rights for greater political representation, management of Country and economic development. Follow and support our journey to Treaty. Resources: Treaty information - TLaWC

4. Meet and learn from Taungurung people on Country

Taungurung Land and Waters Council operates wawa biik cultural experiences in Nagambie and Euroa. There’s no better way to meet, connect and learn from Taungurung People than being on Country together in a positive and inclusive learning space. Taungurung guides share the proud Taungurung story and offer generous opportunities for yarning and learning about cultural perspectives and aspirations of the community. Join a public tour or a private tour with your work colleagues or community group and build your own personal connections with Taungurung People and Country. Once you’ve grown knowledge, being a good ally involves showing your values in the right places. Here’s how:

5. Write your own personalised Acknowledgement of Country

An Acknowledge of Country can be shared at meetings, on your LinkedIn profile and organisation website. An Acknowledgement of Country is a statement that can be a powerful message of solidarity and respect. It does more than just state the name of the Traditional Owners of the land that you are meeting on. An Acknowledgement of Country is acknowledging the deep continuous connection between First Nations People, their Culture and their Country across thousands of years. For it to be meaningful, try personalising it. Tailor it to your own context and make it specific to you /your organisation. What message do you want to convey? You can’t go wrong if it is from the heart. Give it a try! Resources: Here is a TLaWC Acknowledgement of Country that you can try as a starting point. If you don’t know if you’re on Taungurung Country or not, check this out: Welcome map.

6. Book a Welcome to Country and/or Welcome Smoking Ceremony for your next event:

A Welcome to Country is a significant way to show your respect for the Taungurung Nation. It is a personalised Welcome from a Taungurung community member. You can book a Smoking Ceremony also – which is performed by a Taungurung Elder. A 3 month lead time is recommended for bookings, so reach out to Taungurung Land and Waters Council early to get your booking confirmed in time for your big event on Taungurung Country. To book, click Taungurung Welcome Ceremony bookings.

7. Celebrate and learn Taungurung language

The Taungurung Land and Waters Council encourages more use of Taungurung language in the wider community. Our hope is for more language to be reinstated on Country and for everyone to gain confidence in speaking a few words. If you work on Taungurung Country, consider using Taungurung words in your email signature, or everyday meetings. Reach out to us for any translation services. Resources: Taungurung Language requests, purchase a Taungurung Language poster

8. Buy from Taungurung businesses

We have many Taungurung artists, entrepreneurs, and business owners providing deadly products and services including graphic design, wellness products, clothing and more. Check out the Taungurung business directory to find out more. Taungurung merchandise including clothing, flag, language books and more can be purchased here:Taungurung merch.

9. Keep an eye out for Country

Country is important to all of us. Tread lightly when you’re out on Country. Take nothing. Leave nothing. Help us look after our cultural heritage which is protected under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

10. Stay in touch with us

We do so much as a community and there are plenty of amazing stories that we want to share. Follow and engage with our content on our Taungurung Land and Waters Council facebook and Linkedin pages and our wawa biik Instagram page. Connect with our People and our projects by signing up for our newsletters: TLaWC newsletter sign up and wawa biik newsletter sign up

Come and join us for a half day experience in June! We would love to welcome you to Country. 

Book via our website.
May newsletter now out! Head to our bio. 

In this edition, we unpack the how and why of cultural heritage protection. We yarn with Taungurung Elders and youth who have experienced the pride of being out in the field unearthing cultural artefacts but who are equally as passionate about walking Country with the wider community to educate about cultural values and the Taungurung story. We hope that their insights spark some reflection and consideration of the role we all must play in ‘winganggath daatba’.
As a Taungurung Elder who has worked for his mob for two decades doing cultural surveys, Uncle Shane could probably write a book about what he’s seen and experienced out there in the field. Take a look as we yarn with Uncle Shane on all things Cultural Heritage and how you might be able to help. Link in bio

#cultureheritage #country #australianheritage #indigenous #artifacts #victorianhighcountry #taungurungcountry
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