While it might be an exaggeration to say that non-indigenous Australians are alienated from their landscape, they certainly don’t share the affinity that indigenous people have towards it. Uncle Wes Marne, an elder of the Darug, whose traditional lands are in the Hornsby area of NSW, conveys that sense of affinity in this, the second of three videos about local indigenous people produced by Macquarie University and showcased by Hornsby Shire Council. Wes takes us deep into the bush to the Rainbow Serpent’s Cave, where he tells the story of the good and bad serpents and how ochre gained its colours. Is it possible that, by listening to the stories of Wes and others like him, non-indigenous people might start to feel an affinity towards the land and develop their own unique and authentic Australian spirituality? Just asking. For the first video in this series, see ‘Spiritual Connections‘.
You don’t have to look far around Berowra or most parts of Hornsby Shire to see rock engravings, middens and other evidence of ancient Aboriginal habitation. Sometimes, however, it’s hard to see the locally-resident descendants of indigenous people – either because of their own ignorance about their ancestry or because of their denial of it, both of which are legacies of Australia’s sometimes brutal, sometimes well-intentioned, but nearly always hurtful treatment of Aborigines in the past. Hornsby Council recently produced three videos focusing on local residents of Aboriginal descent. In this one Les Bimson, a descendant of the Guringai, talks about his rediscovery of his Aboriginal identity and connections with the land.