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Saturday, 3 September 2011

A Wonderful Opportunity to Host Year 3/4 Students

Bana Yarralji would seem to be moving faster and faster towards forming itself into a particular kind of business ie a cultural enterprise - but, one might ask, how is it really possible for two cultural entreprenuers (no matter how determined) to estalblish a cultural enterprise of this kind and seek to launch this enterprise in the way being recorded in this blog??

Very little would have been SO possible and everything would have been moving much more slowly: all prospect of a cultural enterprise even being formed would be much much more difficult ...  if it weren't for the existence of  a Commowealth Aboriginal employment program (ie 'Working on Country')  matching the existence of a tight knit group of long termed unemployed people from Wujal Wujal and Cooktown who'd been trained in Conservation and Land Management (CALM) and were ready plus prepared to work on country, caring for that country (ie the Bana Yarralji rangers).

It was a spectacular thing when Marilyn and Peter Wallace, with their vision, happened upon the Commonwealth's 'Working on Country' program (back in 2009)  specifically aimed at:

i.  picking up unemployed Aboriginal peoples from places like Wujal Wujal and Cooktown  ... and

ii. see such unemployed people working full time establishing a self-sustaining natural and cultural resource management service on country.

Most recently, within the last couple of weeks, Marilyn and Peter Wallace were expected to be in one place (ie in Cairns helping celebrate and recall 20 years of Cape York regional organisations working to improve the position of Aboriginal peoples in Cape York); while the Bana Yarralji enterprise was needed in another place  (ie back 'home' taking up opportunity to host 70 year 3/4 students from Cooktown - promoting Nyungkal lore in Nyungkal country)

On Tuesday August 23 2011, then, as part of the Bana Yarralji Working on Country project fulfilling Bana Yarralji Working on Country contracted outcomes:

i.   Marilyn and Peter Wallace revisted and reignited long established relationships at 'Kicking the Dust' celebrations in Cairns,

ii.  Bana Yarralji Working on Country rangers, at the same time, took up Bana Yarralji's wonderful hosting opportunity - warming (smoking) approx 70 year 3/4 students from Cooktown on Nyungkalwarra country & - introducing 70 year 3/4 students to Nyungkalwarra lore on Nyungkalwarra country.

Marilyn and Peter Wallace succeeded in re-establishing some potentially important connections with some senior Aboriginal politicians, and some senior Eastern Yalanji elders - in their wish to lay more secure foundations for their cultural enterprise, in pursuit of a vision of seeing Nyungkal people more permanently living and making a living on country.

The coordinator of South Cape York Catchments (Jason Carroll) who co-hosted the whole school excursion into the bioculturally rich rainforests reported Bana Yarralji Working on Country rangers (Ruby Winkle and Horace Friday) did a great job and the whole exercise involving so many young students on country at once  "went very well indeed".

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Cultural entreprenuers moving onto country, building a base on country, working on country; caring for country, and hosting guests on country