#NaturePact: Connecting with Country

Many people call Australia ‘the lucky country,’ but ‘luck’ is an inadequate word for how fortunate we truly are to belong to this amazing place. Consider this astonishing geophysical fact: Australia is made of the oldest continental crust on Earth, some 4.4 billion years old.  Not only that, the oldest fossil evidence of life on land anywhere in the planet has been discovered embedded in rocks in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.  

And then there are the innumerable, powerful stories of human and ancestral connection. We’re sharing lands that are home to the oldest continuous living cultures in the world; lands that have been shaped by millennia of connectedness, custodianship and care by Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

That custodianship and care today remain as precious and essential as they have ever been. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, care of Country is not just about being physically close to the land or oceans. For many, ‘they are their country in the sense that humans are a critical component of ecological relationships.’* 

Much of the Koala Eco range (developed and made on Gadigal land of the Eora Nation) takes inspiration from traditional bush medicines of the Australian Aboriginal pharmacopoeia. So we are really proud to be partnering with People and Parks Foundation’s 2022 #NaturePact campaign, which invites us to explore and experience a deeper relationship with and respect for nature. 

Though non-Indigenous Australians can never be as deeply culturally and ancestrally entwined with the lands, skies and waters as Australia’s first peoples, we are all nonetheless part of nature, and we all play a role in caring for it. Nature connects us all.

And we can strengthen these connections.  This week, maybe use your #NaturePact time to start finding out more about the language groups and cultural practices of the Traditional Custodians of the places where you live. Take the opportunity to grow and affirm your respect and appreciation for this extraordinary country, and also for the people who have looked after it for more than 60,000 years.  

Koala Eco is the principal partner and supporter for the People and Parks Foundation’s 2022 #NaturePact campaign, which aims to encourage as many people as possible to spend more time connecting with the outdoor world during September.  To sign up, or find out more go to: https://peopleandparks.org/nature-pact/

*This is from a June 2016 paper called ‘A Landscape Architecture of Fire: Cultural Emergence and Ecological Pyrodiversity in Australia’s Western Desert’ by Deborah Bird, Rebecca Bliege Bird, Brian Codding, and Ngalangka Nola Taylor, which appeared in Current Anthropology. It focuses on the fire management practices of the Martu language groups of remote Western Australia, and its authors note: ‘Many traditionally oriented Martu … do not perceive of themselves as having a spiritual connection that makes them “closer to the land” … they insist that they are their country in the sense that humans are a critical component of ecological relationships.’