What a special day this was.
A few weeks ago, just a few days before World Kangaroo Day, members of the Yuin community met at NSW Parliament House to conduct a smoking ceremony and deliver a message stick, representing the Yuin Declaration for Kangaroos. This historic event calling for the Australia-wide protection of kangaroos was an extension and legacy of the work of the late Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison.
Here is what Uncle Dean Kelly said about the event:
“Buru, the kangaroo, has been protected for thousands of years – we are mentally, physically and spiritually connected to this ancient animal through our living cultural lore. We all must protect Buru, the kangaroo. Our old people, our ancients, have protected Buru under our natural lore we must continue this. The gifting ceremony of the message stick brings together the written law of NSW and our cultural lore – the message stick represents our ongoing cultural protection for Buru and for thousands of years to come. This gifting of the message stick is an opportunity to look more closely at our NSW bylaws together. The ceremony brings together the two knowledge systems: Buru is protected under our lore; we want Buru protected under NSW written law, and our living lore recognised.”
As you can see from the photo, the wooden message stick is engraved with an image of a kangaroo. Yuin Man Peter Hewitt explains the significance of the message stick:
“The engraving depicts our ancient connection to Buru. Buru respectfully holds his song lines and like us is spiritually connected to the Minga (mother earth). The image depicts this ancient balance and connection between the natural elements. The message stick authenticates our living cultural lore, cultural responsibilities, and spiritual kinship to Buru.”
Photo credit: Marelle