Listening to the Elders: Wisdom, knowledge, institutions and the need for change

Ruth Ross, Jay Phillips, Mayrah Dreise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

With Acknowledgements of Country and Welcomes to Country becoming a more frequent element of institutional practice in Australia, where next with respect to honouring and integrating the broad spectrum of knowledges that First Nations Elders and Indigenous peoples more generally bring to the work of institutions and organisations? While a Welcome to Country must always be delivered by Elders or traditional owners of the country upon and to which the welcome is being extended, an Acknowledgement of Country can be offered by anyone. Western institutions and the individuals working within them must look beyond the most easily received cultural knowledge that is re-created through romanticised or deficit discourses that ignore more than 230 years of colonialism and its ongoing impact on all peoples in Australia. Late in January 2020, Jay Phillips (a Wakka Wakka educator from South-East Queensland), Mayrah Dreise (a Yeeralaraay and Gamilaraay woman from country spanning South-West Queensland and North-West New South Wales) and Ruth Ross (a Wakka Wakka educator, community Elder and Murri Court Elder) explored these issues with Griffith Review editor Ashley Hay.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalGriffith Review
Volume68
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2020

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