Black Lives Matter in Melbourne

Originating in the African-American community, the Black Lives Matter activist movement has arrived in Australia. Last weekend, there were Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations in Sydney and Melbourne. There was also rally in Perth this weekend. I was sick with a cold when I got the invitation on Facebook to go the Melbourne rally, but I couldn’t stay home. I’ve been watching the BLM movement with great interest since the 2013 shooting death of African American teen Trayvon Martin. I’d been…

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Australia Day, Invasion Day

Isn’t today’s Google Doodle beautiful? For its 2015 Doodle 4 Google competition, Google asked Aussie kids, in years 1-10 to draw a doodle based on the theme “If I could travel back in time I would…” Out of more than 24,000 submissions, this is the National Winner. It’s called Stolen Dreaming by Ineka Voigt of Canberra High School, ACT. If I could travel back in time I would reunite mother and child. A weeping mother…

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Australia Day

If you were to ask me how Australian I feel, I’d say very little. There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not reminded that not only am I a foreigner, which is bad enough, but that I’m American, which is probably the worst kind of foreigner. My otherness is highlighted most strongly on Australia Day. What is Australia Day? Celebrated annually on the 26th of January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of…

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The Aboriginal Homeland

This is a fantastic video from photographer Amy Toensing on her mission to document the culture of the Aboriginal people for National Geographic. It’s fascinating and heartbreaking. You can see more images from Toensing here. Do you know of any good documentaries or books about Australia’s Aboriginal people?

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Meet Mary G

Last week I was doing some online research on the mythology surrounding owls and I eventually stumbled upon a YouTube video and a woman named Mary G.

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Didgeridoo

Melbourne

Last week, as Theo and I were leaving a shopping center, we spotted this Aboriginal man on his bicycle carrying a didgeridoo. I love the modern and traditional elements going on here. So what’s a didgeridoo, you ask? It’s a wind instrument developed by Indigenous Australians a thousand years or so ago. It’s made out of a hollow tree that is cleaned out and shaped. Beeswax may be applied to the mouthpiece end and the instrument…

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Sunday Gratitudes

A few things that are making me happy this week and that I’m grateful for: Boomerangs I got me some awesome boomerangs this week and I can’t wait to give them away to my family and friends. I’m keeping two for myself, the ones pictured here painted by an Aboriginal artist with a snake and turtles. Luna Park We went to Luna Park last night and I had so much fun. Roller coasters, silly haunted houses,…

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Boomerangs

There isn’t a more iconic Australian souvenir than the boomerang. You see them in all the tourist shops and museum gift shops. Most of these are overpriced and they may not fly well. I was determined to get some real boomerangs for my family and friends back home. The boomerang is tens of thousands of years old and part of Australian Aboriginal culture. The popular curved varieties are returning boomerangs used for sport. Non-returning boomerangs,…

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William Ricketts Sanctuary

The William Ricketts Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful and serene places I’ve visited. Located in Mt. Dandenong, the William Ricketts Sanctuary features amazing and haunting clay sculptures of Aboriginals nestled among the trees. Although not an Aboriginal himself, Ricketts (1898-1993) had a deep respect for Aboriginal spirituality and a profound love for the natural world. His vision of a modern Australia that embraces these themes, as well as his sadness over the treatment…

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