From September 25th to October 4th, Seed will be travelling from Townsville to Brisbane meeting with communities and those on the frontline of the causes and impacts of climate change - listening, sharing knowledge, stories and tools to take action.
Follow @SeedMob on Twitter or Instagram, and check out our blog below to get updates on our adventure!
Seed Mob Blog
Vanessa from Townsville
Today was the first official day of the Seed Road Trip. An excited mob of 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people from everywhere across the country loaded into 4 soccer-mum cars for the first leg of our road trip. We rolled up to the ferry dock with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags hanging from the car windows, attracting some interesting looks from tourists. We drove aboard the ferry and took off, admiring the beautiful sea country on our way to Magnetic Island.
We cruised out to the Island and arrived on shore of Yunbenun, the land of the Wlgurukaba people. The purpose of the morning was to meet up with a Seed member Alec and his family, who were the traditional owners of the incredibly beautiful country. They would welcome us to Country then yarn with us about how a changing climate has affected their land. As we set ashore and drove through the mountains, we were all mesmerised by the dense green scrub contrasting the pristine water below.
Unfortunately Alec and his family were unable to meet with us. I couldn’t help feeling disappointed. This trip was about hearing the voices and perspectives of our people on the issue of climate change, and amplifying that voice into the current debate. We were to do what we do best: yarn. Entering a predominantly non-Indigenous environment movement as an Aboriginal young person, it has been clear to me that the perspectives of this country’s First Peoples must be heard in all matters regarding our Country. And there is nothing that compares to climate change when it comes to radically changing the balance of our land, water and wildlife. We must be involved, so our peoples’ stories must be heard. This added to the disappointment on missing out on this opportunity to listen. But I accept that’s the way it is for us. We have a lot of things going on, regardless of climate change. I guess that adds to the unfairness of it all.
Yama, a local fellow road-tripper, led us in an acknowledgement of Country, then gave us a little bit of the history regarding Captain Cook and the distinct lack of magnets on Magnetic Island. We also talked about Palm Island, as we looked over at its outline across the sea. We talk about how it was used as a dumping ground by the Government for our people and still experiences injustices in the form of police brutality and poor services and conditions. Out of sight out of mind I guess. But even though the island represents many past and current injustices, the people there have made it their own. We also speak about the pride people have developed to live there, and that despite all the different mobs from across Queensland that reside there, they have created a new community, unifying themselves as the Bwgcolman people. Another testament to the resilience of our people. Who better to consult with when it comes to climate change?
We made it back to the mainland of Townsville sweaty and sunstruck, ready to run a community yarning circle to hear more about local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience of climate change. I was struck by the incredible group of young people I was lucky enough to travel with as we went around the circle and answered the question: “What does climate change mean for you as a person?”. Everyone’s personal stories were as diverse as we were, a group of Indigenous people from across the continent. But one thing was clear: we all felt a deep-seated connection to the land, and a strong duty of care over our Country, and other peoples’ Countries all across Australia. That’s why we were all here, because that’s exactly what climate change threatens, and each of us had individually decided that losing our Country is a cost too heavy to bear.
Friday 25th September:
#Biggestmob on 3! And the Road Trip kicks off from Townsville! —