Home' Scoop : Scoop 53 Spring 2010 Contents Your move
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“Basically, we’ll take the young people out
to country to reconnect with their culture and
heritage. We’ll walk the ancient trails that I and 88
other elders have been mapping, we’ll share the
knowledge, teach them the traditional ways and
help put the pieces of the picture back tog ether.”
The benefits of the program have already been
seen in Albany. Earlier this year a Nyoongar man,
Eugene Eades, was granted permission to take
four Aboriginal youths facing detention out on a
spiritual journey through the bush.
“Eugene came to me and said ‘my family
are all in prison, what can I do?’ so I told him
what we were working on here and he said ‘I’ll
give it a shot.’ The Albany magistrate took a risk
and gave him these four kids and the results
couldn’t have been better.
“By learning the stories of the land, they
suddenly felt connected to something. They felt
ownership over their environment; they planted
trees and made art under the sun. Essentially, it
gave them a sense of purpose – they understood
what it meant to be part of this ancient culture.”
Noel says his body is slowly garnering the support
of local magistrates and politicians, including the
President of the Children’s Court, Dennis Reynolds
and Chief Justice of WA, Wayne Martin.
With adequate funding, they are hoping to get
a statewide cultural corridors committee up and
running in the next year, to put this into practice.
“Obviously as a group of Nyoongar people,
we can’t go up to the Kimberley and say ‘this
what you need to do’,” Noel says. “But we can
certainly give them a model to work from, and
that way they can adapt it to incorporate their own
knowledge and traditions. This is the way forward.
It’s a real solution and it’s g oing to take off.”
A born storyteller, Noel possesses the unique
gift of drawing people in with his words and
taking them on a journey. His inflection comes
effortlessly, like a flame intensifying in the still
night air, and his pauses car ry just the right urgency
to invoke quiet contemplation from all who listen.
Even school teachers have mar velled at his
ability to keep six and seven-year-olds entranced
for more than their standard 15 minutes.
“It’s about feeling the story and understanding
its connection to the real world,” Noel says.
“Everything is about stories – whether it’s
Joseph and his coat of many colours, whether it’s
Jesus or Jundamarra. It doesn’t matter what your
belief is – it’s a story.
“And the art of storytelling is what gets people
thinking about who they belong to, where they
come from, and how they can give back to the
world they live in.”
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