“I hope that in your way you might support us to allow others to hear about the lives, the culture and the many stories of Indigenous People in Australia." Miliwanga Wurrben
"We are like the tree standing in the middle of a bushfire sweeping through the timber. The leaves are scorched and the tough bark is scarred and burnt, but inside the tree, the sap is still flowing and under the ground, the roots are still strong. Like the tree, we have endured the flames and yet we still have the power to be reborn." Dr Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann
One of the primary aims of this project is to create a powerful voice of Indigenous peoples living in the area of the Daly, Katherine and Waterhouse Rivers in the Northern Territory, as well as the Lower Fitzroy River in Western Australia.
We will follow Indigenous people and communities in these regions as they undertake healing journeys from the adversities they have faced over the past decades.
We believe it is essential that the ‘outside world’ is made aware of the lived experience of Indigenous peoples, and the negative impact that governments and other aspects of wider society the challenges they face, and the amazing resilience they show as they overcome adversity.
We want other Indigenous communities around the world to be inspired and empowered by the educational content and films we produce for this project.
We will create a narrative that challenges the disempowering discourse that is often generated by governments in their efforts to maintain their paternalistic and controlling agenda.
We want the outside world to celebrate the successes of Indigenous people. To see and hear the beauty and joys of Indigenous peoples and their country, culture, arts (paintings, music, dance), and spirituality.
At the same time, the outside world must be made aware of the challenges that Indigenous peoples face because of the paternalistic and racist attitudes and actions they sometimes have to endure.
We believe that western-based culture can learn a lot from Indigenous people. We also know that we must all work together to facilitate the healing of Indigenous, and non-Indigenous, peoples.
Content Relating to Voices' project
'Voices of the Rivers' Project: Find out how the project came into existence, and read what we aim to do in the future.
Voices’ Collaborators: Brief biographies of our main collaborators: Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, Pip Gordon, Miliwanga Warren Margaret Katherine, Tom E. Lewis and Anne Poelina.
My initial visit to the NT: I recently spent 18 days in the Northern Territory, first as part of a Cultural Tour to Nauiyu, then in Katherine and at the Barunga festival. Hear about my experiences.
Dadirri and dadirri film: Read about dadirri, as reflected upon by Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, and see a short film produced by Miriam and Pip Gordon, with support from DLAB in Sydney and Djilpin Arts in Katherine.
Adversity: The adversities faced by Nauiyu, as written by Clare Martin (former NT Chief Minister), and described in an ABC article.
Wellbeing and healing: The holistic Indigenous view of wellbeing, which is richer than western culture’s ‘mental health’, and what trauma expert Bruce Perry has to say about Indigenous healing practices and their positive impact.