on respect

Driving the #Nullarbor I can’t help but think of the traditional owners of this land and what it was like for them before us, before colonisation. I’m truly awed. I’ve made a cursory list of the Aboriginal countries #homeJames and I are, and will be, passing through on this trip. Whose land are you on?

I wanted know which Aboriginal Countries I have been travelling on* during this drive from Adelaide to Perth, so I went to look at my HEMA Australian Road Atlas. It’s not there; there’s no map of Aboriginal lands at all. I think there should be, but that’s something I’ll be suggesting elsewhere. For now I have used an ABC map** to make a cursory list.

Countries I have driven through so far (on this trip) – Kaurna; Nukunu; Banggaria; Nawu; Wirangu; Mirning; Ngatjumay.
Countries I will be driving through (to get to Perth) – Malpa; Nyaki-Nyaki; Balardung; Wajuk.

I have visited other Aboriginal countries, of course, and there will certainly be others after this, but for now, this needs to be said:

#homeJames and I pay our respects to the traditional owners of these lands and to their Elders past and present. We feel their energies present in the landscapes we pass through and imagine the lives they would have led, free to roam, before colonisation. We thank them for the care they have given, to this land and each other, and we stand by them in solidarity as they rightfully fight for recognition, respect and a future to call their own.

ABC's Aboriginal Australia map

ABC’s Aboriginal Australia map

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*Since I first came up with reallybigroadtrip I’ve wanted to make a scrolling ‘bus destinations’ readout that’s linked to a GPS tracker so I’ll be alerted which Aboriginal country #homeJames and I are currently visiting. I have been told that the borders aren’t quite as ‘set in stone’ as GPS requires, although fuzzy borders could be programmed. But more importantly, is it my right to make such a thing, even if just for my own use? If you’re going to explore someone else’s culture, surely you wait to be asked rather than decide to claim such a concept. Maybe one day I’ll be invited to do this, we’ll see.

**map source: http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/map/