How often have you heard of people seeking cultural experiences abroad? I have been guilty of this myself, not realising that one existed in my own backyard.
Being on Worimi Country (Stroud, NSW) moves you through feeling the energy of the land, the history, and taking in the lessons being on country teaches you.
Through the Indigenous Social Enterprise Project, not only did I apply skills learnt in the MBA, but I also gave back to the community whilst reaping the benefits of being immersed in a rich culture that has existed for over 60,000 years.
We were on Worimi country for a learning experience; where we walked on country, talked on country, listed to Worimi elders tell their truth and left with a different perspective. This immersive cultural experience changed me and made me realise we all have a part to play in creating a shared future together.
The opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation with Indigenous elders on Worimi land was special. Their gracious sharing of knowledge and lived experiences undoubtably changed my perspective. I learnt lessons in culture, environmental sustainability, and connection to community from an Indigenous perspective that has been passed down through generations.
This is learning that cannot be gained from a book or classroom. It is knowledge that is shared through being exposed to story-telling and truth-telling.
This experience has given me an appreciation of the value of Indigenous knowledge and made me question why we don’t experience Indigenous culture more in everyday Australian life. This is learning that cannot be gained from a book or classroom. It is knowledge that is shared through being exposed to story-telling and truth-telling.
Working to develop a Social Enterprise solution on Worimi country also made me think about business in a new light. One that comes from a cultural lens and is inherently built on a deep connection to land, people, and tradition. The idea of success as measured by financial wealth is challenged, as this experience teaches that value is also created through achieving a social purpose and impact.
I now realise how we as individuals, businesses and government have a responsibility to engage, listen and refrain from being slight bystanders in influencing a more integrated future.
From listening to the perspective of Indigenous elders, we were confronted with stories of our country’s dark past. Although as a nation some progress has been made, when it comes to acknowledgement and respect of Indigenous Peoples and Culture, there is further healing to be done. Without being immersed in Indigenous culture it is hard to understand how we create a way forward together.
This experience has not only opened my eyes to the beauty of an ancient culture, but it has shown me its teachings are an integral part of our history and our future. I now realise how we as individuals, businesses and government have a responsibility to engage, listen and refrain from being slight bystanders in influencing a more integrated future. We all have a role to play in defining how to to move forward together.
I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we are on and pay my respects to elders past, present and future who have cared and continue to care for Country. A special thank you to Susan, Justin and Worimi Elders John and Carol, whom without their knowledge and wisdom it would not be possible to share this story.