Our sacred places connect us and bring us together. Every place has meaning because all the land came from the Wongarr, or ancestral beings, who created it. The power of the Wongarr is still strong in the landscape. Sometimes it might be something we can see — a rock or tree or billabong — but not always, sometimes that power is invisible.
We learn as we grow, so we know how to behave properly on country because the power in the land is dangerous if not treated properly. When we see our cultural places damaged it is like our body has been wounded. When the wrong people go into our sacred and cultural places, they might get sick or the landowners and djungkayi might get sick.
Our ceremony places are filled with strong power and only the right people can go there to look after the power. Whether the ceremony is happening at the time or not, strict rules apply under our law that defines the roles played by people.
Rangers are often in the middle between our people and Balanda (non-Aboriginal Australians). Some Balanda look to the rangers to give permission to go places but rangers don’t have the right to talk for other people’s country. They do, however, have a responsibility to know who the right people are and to make sure they are consulted.
Our cultural places are filled with knowledge and stories. If we know country, we can read the knowledge and stories like Balanda read from a book.
Healthy Country Plan
We know that the land needs its people to care for it and to keep it healthy. In the same way we know that caring for the country keeps us healthy – physically, spiritually and mentally.