Yolŋu Way

In the past month, I was privileged to travel to North East Arnhem Land to work alongside the Ḻiya-Dhälinymirr Djambarrpuyŋu Clan on the co-creation of a series of educational resources for the Mukarr Djambatj multi-touch book.

Connecting with our partner communities on Country is core to our way of being and doing. It is through this collaborative work with Custodians that the Sharing Stories education team are able to explore stories and co-create authentic educational resources that are reflective of true cultural practices and community voices.

In my most recent trip, I had the opportunity to sit with Senior Songman, Murrkiltja Peter Guyula, to yarn about the creation of the resources and the importance of the Mukarr Djambatj manikay (Songline).  As I listened to  Peter and his community, I became so immersed in the story of Country, I began to hear and feel the deeper intentions of the learnings. “When young people are coming to understand this songline, they are not given a writing pad or asked to take notes on a computer.” Peter invites people to experience this songline and reflect on how it makes them feel. I understood that the story and its history are so deeply rooted on Country and this knowledge is shared throughout one’s entire life. Country itself has a voice in this book, and it should be listened to.

The Yolŋu way of learning is deeply experiential and I came to understand by listening to Peter that the lessons must be experiential too. This understanding could only be achieved through the generosity of the Ḻiya-Dhälinymirr community and being and connecting on Country. A valuable learning experience that we encourage educators to do with their local communities.

Our hope is that the resources developed as a result of this experience with the  Ḻiya-Dhälinymirr community reflect the rich diversity of knowledges embedded in the songline and pay respect to the Ḻiya-Dhälinymirr community for generously sharing these knowledges with us.

  • Harmony Domaille, Education and Community Partnerships Manager,

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