I wanted to volunteer on the Lurujarri trail, near Broome for many reasons… to see friends, to walk the country I worked with others to save, to challenge myself physically, to hear the stories and connect to the living environment, and to acknowledge that I live on stolen land – and that it is necessary for all of us in similar positions to contribute in some way.
I have been thinking about what solidarity looks like, about what it means to be an ally to the original peoples of this country. It is as simple and hard as listening… and so much more. There is definitely more to write on this, but as I was thinking about it, I came across this new resource which looks wonderful.
So what is the Lurujarri trail?
You can read more about it here – the short version is that it is an opportunity to walk ‘on country’ with Goolarabooloo traditional owners on their Song Cycle (series of songlines) path that runs north from Broome, Western Australia.
The landscape is stunning, and you can feel the strength of the country under your skin. A diversity of folks from all walks of life come to walk with the mob, and hear their stories. The webs of connection that are made draw people back time and again. This was part of the strong foundation of the successful campaign to save this special place as people from all over Australia, and the world, came to the defence of sacred land.
Volunteering was hard work – getting up at 4 or 5am to light fires, cook breakfast and lug 100’s of litres of water around…well, let’s just say it was a challenge for a night owl… but the day we walked across the middens from Murdudun whale research station towards Camp Walmadan and James Price Point… walking in, and amongst 1000’s of years of history, and abundant visible physical remnants, was so very worthwhile – a feeling of sweet relief, and coming home.
The thoughts that came up from this trip are all still bubbling under the surface… and I will write more soon. In the meantime – a few pictures…
PS – Whilst I was there I was able to finalise the content for the ‘We Won’ edition of the Camp Walmadan booklet, very happy to say that will be coming out soon… you can also read about the campaign, featured on the cover of Chain Reaction here.