‘I live, create and work on the sacred and sovereign lands of the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the Kulin Nations. I acknowledge that the sovereignty of these lands has never been ceded and respectfully acknowledge their elder’s past, present and future becoming. I acknowledge the deep disrespect and brutality with which my ancestors illegally occupied the land of the Gunai Kurnai peoples on which I was born. I acknowledge that my sense of place and belonging is built on the struggle of dispossessed Aboriginal people and that I benefit from this as an occupier. i acknowledge and apologise for the continuing acts of colonial power, racism and violence which disregard the transgenerational trauma and pain of dispossession for Aboriginal people. I also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of all the lands and waters across Australia which i travel. I commit to being open and humble and always respecting the knowledge and wisdom of the first peoples of this land.’
This acknowledgement is a work in progress for me, as I’m not sure it really says what it should or I feel it should or others feel it should. It was inspired by the generous conversations and musings with Indigenous and non-indigenous people at the recent AAANZ conference. I now look to reflect on my position as an occupier of this place called ‘Australia’ in my art, writing and creative practice and this is a first step.