Wayne Thorpe GunaiKurnai Custodian storyteller talks about the Tarra Bulga Bush.
What do you feel when you enter the Tarra Bulga Bush?
I feel the ancientness of my ancestors, the freshness of the air, all the vegetation, the tall trees, I am in wonder of them, the views that you get from being up high. And I notice the birds and animals of the area. I feel that freshness and that coolness.
What do you listen to when you enter the Tarra Bulga Bush?
I always listen to the sounds of nature, I listen to the trees, the birds and animals, I listen to the streams of water and most of all I listen for Woorayl the lyre bird and Tiddalik the frog.
The GunaiKurnai Culture teaches us:
It’s always good to value the bush. People that have come here and made residence or have made farm or businesses, have not valued the bush, unless it is a natural resource that they use, so they need to value the bush, the life of mother earth, and embrace nature, as a living spiritual being, one that provides the freshest air, the clear water and, we all can protect our mother earth.
So these are the sort of messages I believe people need to be aware of , and that was the reminder for us, in the traditional society, though our dreamtime stories and our culture, songs stories and dance, to respect nature, mother earth, that provides for us.
My name is Wayne Thorpe – I recognise as being a descendant of the Gunnai people and I have family connections to Yorta Yorta.
Since 1980 I have been developing my experience in presenting and promoting our language in the awareness of our culture. I am continually learning Cultural Ceremony and the Respectful Laws of Lore from Uncle Max Harrison since 1997, and this has helped me in presenting cultural protocols such as welcomes and smoking ceremony in the Language of Songs, Stories and Dance.I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Language and Linguistics and a Master of Education with a Thesis titled Watbalimba – Language of Song Story and Dance.
As a team member of the Cultural Hub, I aim to help GLaWAC restore our cultural values, respect laws and structures of being a descendant of country and language. There are many people who want to learn aspects of our cultural ways.
And so, we recognise the need to organise regular gatherings where we can all encourage each other to contribute to the cultural society, family and culture. By this, we can all benefit through our sharing and learning our cultural ways of living.