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Terra Nullius – grief, politics and praise (in non-segregated Djaara mother country)

We came together with community this week for the annual Terra Nullius breakfast, held outside the Daylesford Town Hall each January 26. The Terra Nullius breakfast is a public ceremony, open to all, that examines the historical legal fiction used to establish the nation-state of Australia; reflects on the grief and suffering of First People as a result of this legal tactic of colonisation; and celebrates both the survival and renewal of Indigenous cultures in the face of systemic violence, segregation and discrimination.

Warm and special thanks to storytellers Rebecca Phillips (Pangerang and Djaara woman) and Dale McDonald (Papal-kil tharat Tjinang-Muddy featherfoot Mukjarrawaint tribal lands Garweid), and didgeridoo player Mitchell Boney (Kamilaroi and Kooma Merri Wurri man, known as Warrabaa, meaning Saw-neck turtle in Gamilaraay). This year’s gathering was documented by Miles at Ideas Agency. Thank you so much Miles and your assistant, Briega, for your thoughtful work.

We hope this video captures some of the nourishment we experienced at this event, and it gives you some thinking and feeling for starting your own event in the country that sings forth life for you.

Signing off from beautiful, unceded Djaara mother country.

Artist as Family


  1. Amy says:

    Thank you for the creation of this video. I couldn’t be there so I’m blessed to have seen and felt the power of the day through this video. I’m here to clear the air, as an ally to Djarra people.

    1. Thanks Amy, we’re so glad the video enabled you to see and feel the power of the day.

  2. Trace Balla says:

    So good to see this

    1. Thanks Trace, did you get to Uncle Rick’s gathering in C’maine for Survival Day? Great to swim in Lake Daylesford with you last week. This week’s video is much to do with public swimming… xx

  3. Angela Halpin says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I struggle with the racism in this Shire. I so appreciate that you share truths and give the opportunity to listen. My kids and ex husband, up in QLD are First Nations. My home in Lyonville has had an avenue of honour planted out front in 2019. Weed trees from another continent, a pathetic memorial to a distant foreign war planted by people who heard my objections and ignored them. Open racism was encouraged by our Council, and locally elected offical. So sad and insulting to this unceded land and to me and my family. We live on stolen land. Always was and always will be – Aborigianal Land. Huge respect to all involved. xx

    1. Thanks for sharing a little of your family story here, Angela. We hear your anger, frustration and pain when it comes to memorials and remembering Aboriginal people and the extreme effects of colonisation on First People. We and many Indigenous friends grow both Indig and non-Indig foods, and practice permaculture to help rebuild kinship relations with land and a ‘custodial approach’ to Country (to cite Tyson Yunkaporta). In other words, in the attempt to leave the damaging industrial food grid so we don’t support such harm to land. We are committed to renewing Indigenous ecology and cosmology, and supporting Indigenous reculturing, but this does not mean we are opposed to newcomer species. Many offer important ecological benefits to Indig species. Over the past 15 years we have transitioned from an exclusively nativist ecological position to a newcomer-oldtimer cosmology that is more open to more-than-human will and consciousness, which we explain in a little detail in this talk:
      Thanks again for sharing your views, and we hope you and your family can make a Terra Nullius breakfast in years to come. It occurs every January 26 outside the Daylesford Town Hall at around 9am.

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