• 08/09/2015: Adjournment speech on Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison, an Elder of the Yuin people

    Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison is a Yuin elder connected to his tribal lands of the South Coast of New South Wales. As a young man he was chosen for initiation into tribal lore. He learnt the ancient wisdoms and spent many years learning about caring for country.

    For more than 30 years, Uncle Max has been passionate about educating people from a variety of backgrounds. With his family, he provides cultural training and education via their Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness consultancy. He has been invited to speak about the importance of maintaining traditional wisdom in Japan, Finland, France, and the United States of America and across Australia. In 2009 he published a book titled My People’s Dreaming “to raise awareness of Aboriginal spirituality and to explain how we connect to the land”.

    His teachings cover the Yuin people’s creation dreaming, bush lore, foods, healing, laws and punishment, spirituality and the significance of our relationship to land and to animals. Uncle Max is greatly concerned about proper respect for the environment and the animals that share country with us—we all are bound together by a spiritual connection. He notes:

    People are saying what are we going to do about climate change, what are we going to do about the ozone layer? They are looking up there at the ozone layer. It is not up there that’s the problem, it’s down here. And this is what I am trying to show people and teach them.

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    That deep connection with land includes a proper relationship with animals. At certain times of the year, Uncle Max will perform ceremonies to ensure that the whales are sent on their way to protect the fish and to look after the food and medicines in the ocean.

    Uncle Max is also an expert adviser to The Think Tank for Kangaroos [THINKK] and has raised a number of concerns about the killing of kangaroos for commercial and non-commercial purposes. He has expressed concern that the mass killing of kangaroos is damaging dreaming tracks across Australia.

    Uncle Max recently said to Chinese officials, “Please don’t eat our kangaroos and I would never eat your pandas.”

    Read the full speech here

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