Setting the context for our care of land from the perspective of Australia’s First Peoples.
The reality of our situation is that this piece of land upon which we live has been here and has been cared for by Aboriginal people in an intimate mutuality for tens of thousands of years. The impacts that we are having on our environment are so staggering when you appreciate the short time scale in which the changes have occurred in comparison to the relative balance Aboriginal people held with the land over millennia. If we are to learn about caring for creation, we need to learn about the particular bit of land we are on, and we need to learn it from those who know it best – for us in the South West this our Noongar brothers and sisters.
This is Noongar Boodja.
It is an amazingly rich and complex pocket of nature. Out of nearly 6000 native vascular plant species found in the South West botanical province, 79 per cent are endemic to Western Australia, and we all can name some of the fauna that are also only found here in the South West of Western Australia. The Noongar story and wisdom helps us not only to respect this, but challenges us to an entirely different mindset that as we care for land, we are also part of it. Indeed we need to reconnect with land to allow the land to care for us.
It is in this spirit that we formally acknowledge the Elders past and present who are the traditional custodians of this land.
Find out who your local elders are to learn the stories of your area. Visit the national Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress website and the Uniting Church Western Australia First Peoples website. Or contact our Western Australian Committee of Congress.
 Beard, J. S., Chapman, A. R. and Gioia, P. 2000. “Species richness
and endemism in the Western Australian flora.” Journal of Biogeography. 27,