After missing out on the opportunity to host our Cultural Camp last year due to covid restrictions, it is with great excitement that we have been able to host our first Cultural Workshop for this year at Tilbuster Station.
Pathfinders Cultural Camps provide an educational, spiritual and recreational experience that reconnects Aboriginal young people to country and culture. Cultural Camps are an essential part of keeping children and young people who are living away from their families connected to their culture. Camps provide opportunities for participants to meet Aboriginal Elders and learn more about the culture and land they meet on.
Sharing the Aboriginal Culture
During this workshop Aboriginal Elders, Pathfinders staff, and community members facilitated sharing of Aboriginal culture and knowledge between generations, aiding in improving the well-being and self-identity of our young people, through the use of Aboriginal culture and connection.
This year we welcomed a number of Elders to Tilbuster. Uncle Dave Widders (Anaiwan Elder), Uncle Lenny Waters (Gomeroi Elder), Uncle Ivan Lackay (Ngemba Elder) and Auntie Rosemary Curtis (Kamilaroi Elder).
Welcome to country was performed by uncle Dave Widders a traditional custodian and local Anaiwan Elder recognised by his community, Dave was able to share his knowledge and explain to the young people in attendance what a welcome to country is and why and when it would be performed.
Our young people participated in a range of male and female activities selected to create fun and enjoyable learning experiences. A range of artwork activities were offered to our young people including creating individual cultural artworks on plates that they could take home with them to help them to remember who they are and where they have come from.
Workshops were facilitated to share knowledge with our young people about the different types of Aboriginal weapons, artefacts, and the importance of protecting cultural history. Young people were able to learn what tools were used by Aboriginal people. These tools were used in many different aspects of traditional life from hunting / gathering, ceremony, and cooking. They learnt the importance of protecting and preserving Aboriginal artefacts and what to do if they were to find an artefact, in the bush or on a property. Through these workshops they were able to learn the importance of protecting Aboriginal history, songs and language.
Traditional food sources
In the afternoon the young people headed to the creek to have a go at catching yabbies. During this activity, Elders shared their knowledge on how and where to find traditional food sources, and how to care and maintain the land by only taking what you need to maintain and preserve a food source. A traditional Hungi cooked underground was provided for dinner by our staff at Tibuster Station, young people were able to learn and discuss the different types of traditional cooking styles used by both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Once the sun had gone down and the stars had come out Uncle Len Waters shared his knowledge of Aboriginal Astronomy with our young people, sharing stories of creation and dream time stories from the Gomeroi tribe’s perspective. Uncle Len’s stories were one of the highlights of the day and had the full attention of the young people in attendance.
For young people learning culture and family history, it is often ongoing as two of our young people discovered. During a Yarning session, one of the facilitators was able to trace through families and worked out that two of the boys were related to him, this positive connection will help them both to understand their own family history and strengthen their self-identity.
Our Cultural Support Officer was able to help one of the young men in attendance identify his tribe and totem helping the young man to learn more about his story and where he has come from.
Thank you to our staff and community members who came together to facilitate a great day of learning filled with culture, connection, and fun.