We are standing firm on the ancient ground of our culture and law. We are also modern people living in a modern world.
We will take the opportunity to draw on our strong culture and unique knowledge, and not be afraid to find new ways of doing things that help us follow our own path as the people of Central Arnhem Land.
We want to have the same rights and opportunities as everybody else. We want our children to be able to pursue their dreams the same as other children in Australia.
We also have new challenges and want to work with others to find new solutions. As land managers we have to deal with problems that have come from outside and which need tools from the “Balanda toolbox” to deal with those things.
To have the power to live our lives as we want to, and to keep ourselves and our country healthy, we need our younger and middle-aged people to feel strong and confident when they go into “the mainstream” to get the tools we need for the future.
The education system has failed many of our people. In particular it has put Balanda learning high above our knowledge and who we are. It has tried to teach basic numeracy and literacy, but it has failed to link that learning to things we care about.
As land managers we are interested in science and the maths and English that go with it. But the education system has ignored the fact that we are born to look after country and that education should take that into account. We need to find ways to “back-up” our knowledge. Recording our stories and making them accessible to the right people is something we must do in these times when our people are being distracted by television, movies, and social media like Facebook.
We can use some of the technology and knowledge from Balanda to help us keep hold of culture and our own knowledge.
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.