• How Are Aboriginal Mobs & LGAs Across Australia Linked?

  • Imagine 500+ states and territories across Australia before 1770. When the British first arrived, they couldn’t see any of these groups for the trees. Or could they?

    First Nation mob were generally seen as one large mob scattered across the landscape.

    For many readers both past and present, Aboriginal people are probably seen as one mob. Each mob will say they are unique, they are different from other mobs. Their first language is that of their country (not English, yet it often became a 2nd, 3rd or 4th language for many).

    Each group or mob has its own cultural practices.  

    Their dance moves were different, the songs they sang, the art they painted on various surfaces including, skin, the bark of a tree, caves, or woven into baskets. These practices are all unique to each individual culture. These mobs have been passing on their stories to their kids and grandkids for over 4,000 generations. 

    Theirs is a flat structure. Everyone is equal. 

    They are family members and all related to each other regarding siblings, sons, daughters, parents and grandparents. People rise to the occasion with their knowledge share their knowledge as per to their roles and responsibilities as a family member. Their non-financial reward was and is keeping their family and community together. 

    They just keep passing it on. Through their dances, songs, art and stories when and where they can. There are protocols for men’s business and women’s business. Always has and always will be.

    And how the times have changed. Or have they?

    At the last count, there were a total of 563 local councils or LGA’s established across Australia. They are generally seen as separate LGAs, by most councils and their community members. They are typically scattered across the country, with policies and procedures that vary from one council to another. 

    Each LGA has its own elected councillors to represent them at decision-making meetings. These meetings focus on kerbs and gutterings, garbage collections, domestic and business development applications,  where things can be built and where they can’t. On standards that must be met. 

    Theirs is a hierarchical structure. 

    There are layers of workers, managers and bosses. People are selected and or elected to their positions to perform jobs as per the job description. They are paid, to keep the community safe and secure for their families and the community. 

    I find it fascinating that even though colonisation occurred over 230 + years ago the structures adopted by the British have a similar footprint to that of 60,000 old Aboriginal systems. 

    I wonder how closely, or loosely the LGAs and different First Nations countries would be if we mapped them with a transparent overlay. One day I might map it when I have some time up my sleeve.

    I reckon all Aussies share a sense of belonging, albeit from, a different perspective with common overlaps, various meanings and yet common ground. 

    How we see, hear and feel the landscape around us, and the meaning that we give it, is what divides us or more importantly brings us together.

    I suspect when we Open the Space in our hearts and minds we will move nearer to closing the literal and figurative gaps that exist between Aussie “blackfellas” and “whitefellas”. 

    OK it’s over to you now. What are your thoughts?