Journey Through Our Ancient Land...
On the back of Australia Day and with great respect to our custodians of this magnificent land I would like to share my experiences recently whilst travelling. I crossed from Gooreng Gooreng land to Darambul land on the tropical coast of Queensland and explained to my home-schooled children and youngest child my limited knowledge in history, language and native foods. We spent many moments while camping and exploring looking out over the country, the ocean and into the water contemplating what a beautiful home this must have been for our indigenous friends. With this knowledge also comes great sadness.
We respect Australia for what it provides us. We respect that we have opportunities here, and welfare and support to thrive, but we have also experienced great hardship along the way. I am a white, middle aged female, a sole parent with minimal financial assistance from the children's fathers. Yes, there are two. Yes it creates a stigma. When I stand in line with my fellow women at our local food bank (that supplies the most wholesome local fresh produce) I don't feel stigmatised, I am empowered. I am a person who sought support, which is a sign of strength. I am a mother, and a sister and each and every other woman there bonds with me over our circumstances. We want to give our children the best possible upbringing and that includes affordable fresh, seasonal and local produce.
Many of the women in this region who use the local food bank are indigenous. We share a coffee and chat. We feel each other on a level you just don't understand until you are there. They look past my articulation of words, and look deeply into what I am saying, and just get it. They see the sorrow in my eyes and we bond over our shared experiences, and it is here, at this very point that we connect.
The foodbank is an important resource for many families and is available nationwide. More information about what it is, how you can access it, or how you can help can be found HERE.
We have been able to visit some outstanding farming properties, meet others on the road and taste some exceptional food on our travels. A combination of home-schooling and school holidays has provided us with free time unlike any other stage in our lives. Our adventures have provided us with insight into living with minimal possessions, aligning our daily activities with the land and seasons, and connecting with people from all walks of life. We all feel like we have grown from this experience and are grateful for what this land offers.
One of the highlights was tour of a large Wagyu station by the property manager. We were taken through locked gates on tracks that don't see vehicles very often. We collected bush lemons from a tree in a paddock in the middle of nowhere and pulled up in the ute when we spotted a newborn wild pig, rushing off into the bush when it saw us. It was exhilarating! Climbing the old timber bird watching tower to look over the wetlands of the Corio Bay region was amazing. The wetlands were dry at this time of year but the view was astounding. The region is a fish habitat region that is famous in these parts. You can read more about it HERE.
Along with people and nature, I was able to experience live music at the Under the Trees Festival. A friend loaned me a new ute to drive and my sister and her mate and I headed off to Tannum Sands for the weekend. I was not quite ready for crowds after our relatively peaceful camping adventures but the crowd was soft and there were many familiar faces. We danced to the music, chatted and laughed. It was a great roadtrip and a family orientated festival that I would recommend. You can read more about it HERE.
As January comes to a close and children begin a new school year, I reflect back on what we have done and where we have been. It has been a huge adventure and my family are richer for it!
Sonia Ghiggioli - The Barefoot FarmHer