Being loved, listened to and connected to each other, is the universal story that Robert Salt and his team from Connective Indigenous Corporation want to tell. “It’s what we all want isn’t it, no matter what our religion, background or anything else that makes us different from each other. Most of us want these things, and we need them to heal,” Robert said.
The organisation set about spreading that story with locals at a major community event in Dubbo earlier this year with support from Highways and Byways. The event attracted Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who were keen to learn more about Indigenous culture through Yarning Circles, information sessions on local native flora and tree planting in a local park.
The event followed two-years of COVID restrictions, floods, droughts and dust storms that blanketed the area. One participant commented that it was, “good to attend an event that was fun and allowed our communities to come together to listen, learn and connect”. Creating connections within the community and strengthening existing partnerships was another goal of the event that attracted more than 170 people.
“We wanted to share with the community information about this country, which is so beautiful and we are so lucky to live here. But we know that a lot of people, Indigenous and white people, show disregard for the land. Our earth is unique and we all need to look after it and play our part and focusing on the local area is a start,” Robert said.
Robert said the information yarning session created a greater awareness of healing country and ourselves, at a time when many people have lost touch with the land or are experiencing hardships.
“The yarning circle has been used by cultures through the centuries. People all around the world, through time, have sat around a fire, looked up at the stars and yarned about the land and connected with each other. I think there’s healing to be found by doing this, listening and connecting to each other,” he said.
The corporation hopes to build on the success of this event with follow up projects later in the year.