Celebrating NAIDOC 2021: Georgia-Rose
Georgia-Rose is a proud Whadjuk Noongar woman from Perth. She is one of the incredible volunteers at Ronald McDonald House Charities Western Australia, contributing to many different roles at WA's home away from home.
What does 'Heal Country' mean to you?
For me personally, 'Heal Country' symbolises connecting to Country, caring for and paying reverence to the Boodjar (land) on which we live on, and appreciating the strong connection that us as Indigenous people have with our Country. It is about respecting and preserving the environment we live on and looking after the Boodjar so that in return Boodjar is able to continue to look after us.
As a Whadjuk Noongar woman, can you please explain your connection to Country?
I am a Whadjuk Noongar woman born and raised in Boorloo (Perth), however I do have family ties throughout the Wheatbelt and South-West, with my Nanna being a Minang Nyoongar woman from Mt Barker and my Pop a Ballardong Nyoongar man from York. For me personally, going back to these places and spending time on Country is when I feel most aligned and at a peace.
Sometimes in Boorloo it can seem hard to feel close to Country due to how built up it has become, however even just visiting some of our spiritual places in the city such as Kings park, or spending time sitting in nature and around some of our Bilya (rivers), Ngamma (waterholes) and Karda (hills) helps me feel more connected to Country.
What are some steps we can take to be more understanding of the connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have to Country?
I think primarily finding out and acknowledging whose Country you are currently living on, and engaging with the local Aboriginal people and Country. Whether that be going on cultural tours on Country, or even just attending some of the NAIDOC 'Heal Country!' events in your local area. Also, taking the opportunity to learn and have conversations with different Aboriginal people - when appropriate - to understand where their Country is and how they personally feel most connected to Country.
You can find out more about NAIDOC Week 2021 by visiting the website here.