Messages from our Elders was inspired by personal stories of hardship, cultural connection and survival from our Elders.
These messages were created whilst checking in with our old people during the COVID-19 isolation period, 2020. Their reminder of our strength and survival and their words of wisdom and comfort were too beautiful not to share.
We acknowledge their traditional lands in the photos their words are written on.
We thank them for sharing their precious gifts and we hope you find some personal meaning from them too.
Aunty Joy Murphy - Wurrundjeri Woiwurrung Elder
I hope you all are feeling strength from our ancestors especially in this unpredictable time.
We are First People of this country, we are still the oldest, living, continuing culture in the World.
We belong to a proud race who have survived for time immemorial, generation after generation. Whatever the outcome, we will never lose what we have been given, a unique legacy.
This is the time when we all need to be kind to ourselves, our family, community, friends and others who need care and support.
We must comply with the rules for a fair chance of not passing on the virus and protecting our chances of survival.
My heart also tells me to follow our culture to help us keep strong.
Take off your shoes, take a walk in the footprints of our ancestors, walk in the bushlands, sit by a tree, stop by a waterhole and cleanse the soles of your feet.
Call out to the birds and animals, bring them home, be patient, they need to feel safe too.
Sit with the stillness, feel the movement of the wind, listen to the rustle of the trees and watch the bark fall softly to the Earth.
Take the sun into your soul and let the rain help to lighten the load. Relax and enjoy the space you are in.
Maybe this is a time to write about what you were told, about your experiences in your lifetime, your culture and your feelings in this current situation.
Remember, this time will pass.
My feelings of strength and protection is imagining Bunjil circling overhead, spreading those powerful wings, keeping us together and those strong claws picking us up when we fall.