It was a privilege for 21 people to walk on the lands of the Kaurna People. Each step taken with a deep and gracious welcome and a listening ear towards Indigenous Elder, Uncle Frank, who shared his story, on country that he is so profoundly connected to.
The Kaurna Yarta Tour took place in South Australia and was facilitated by Indigenous Ministries Australia (IMA). Participants from Churches of Christ SA/NT and GMP staff spent seven hours together touring the significant Indigenous sites around Adelaide.
Val, GMP staff member, said that Uncle Frank encouraged deep listening to the land and creation. It was a time of “reflecting on questions of values, justice and healing through the eyes of the Kaurna Aboriginal people”.
Anthony, one of the ministers on the tour, was compelled by Uncle Frank’s storytelling. “I listened to a past I did not know, to stories yearning to be heard time and again. Listened with a people who extend their hand in friendship toward those who have been on these lands for but a moment.”
Gloria was amazed at the places she had never seen or looked at properly. She was fully engaged in the journey. “It was part history, part prayer walk, part cross-culture learning experience.”
Anthony also shared that the tour opened the eyes and ears of his heart to a possibility that, “we can walk these lands together, humbly, respectfully, lightly, with justice and grace”.
Participants were deeply impacted by the experience. “It was one of the best days I have had for a long, long time and will stay with me forever. Deep listening and heartfelt sharing, respect and sorrow,” Gloria explained. Days later after the tour, Anthony described how he was feeling, “Still filled with a holy disturbance and trusting it to do the necessary work within me, for the sake of these lands and the peoples who live upon them”. Val shared, “To stop, listen, learn and identify with the history and some of the ongoing issues for Aboriginal peoples on this land has expanded my understanding, compassion and partnership in our journey together on this land. A beautiful gift of grace and generosity in the sharing that was so appreciated by all who took part.”
The Indigenous Australian culture is very respectful and honouring of their Elders. Taking this historical, cultural and spiritual city tour with traditional owner and Christian elder, Uncle Frank Wanganeen, helped us reflect on questions of values, justice and healing, and to see the city we call Adelaide (Tarndanya – land of the red kangaroo) through the eyes of the First Nations Kaurna people. Thank you, Uncle Frank, for your humble, faithful leadership.
If you would like to engage with your local Indigenous story and people, please contact Nick Wight. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org