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Sharing Place, Learning Together: the birthplace of new ways?

Diversifying educational opportunities for remote Indigenous students is a key step to improving health outcomes

Young people and old people, Bininj, Yol and Balanda; we need to stand together for the future. The health and wellbeing of our people and our country depends upon us all.1

Djelk Rangers Victor Rostron, Wesley Campion and Ivan Namarnyilk. (Djelk Indigenous Protected Area, Arnhem Land.) The terms Bininj and Yol are used in Maningrida to refer to Aboriginal people. Balanda is used colloquially throughout the Maningrida region to describe non-Aboriginal people.

In the north, water chestnuts bring people and magpie geese together. Magpie geese migrate to the flood plains from elsewhere in Australasia as the chestnuts ripen after the wet season, and humans and magpie geese share the chestnuts. People can hunt for magpie geese only after the geese have eaten the chestnuts and fattened, slowing their flight. Hunting and preparing the goose is a particular process that must be taught, and learnt, in the right way. Magpie geese and water chestnuts each have songlines, dreamings and a moiety, and you have to follow the rules exactly, the old people’s way. Students at Maningrida College in Arnhem Land perform these life skills with their…