A new Australian Fairy Tale to inspire Community Spirit

This land we now call Australia has sung with stories for thousands of years. Every mountain, rock, tree, animal and lake came into existence through an often cautionary tale that passed ‘lore’ down through tribes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The Dreamtime stories are ancient and often work to protect the earth from which the many tribes of first Australians believe – and once lived – as if they were inextricably a part of. These stories held the tribes together for many thousands of years until western civilisation interrupted, or as some say, became part of, the dreaming.

This week I was asked to help breathe new life and new energy into a very much white Australian community in which I’m a part of. The community itself was founded more than 20 years ago having undergone major changes in this time including massive popularity and a steady alteration in demographics. In particular, now that the community is mature and more than stable in a material sense, the challenge being faced is connection, most obvious by the little interest being shown in the donation of volunteer time and energy to achieve ongoing projects together.

Story seemed like a good place to start.

As a nature-based story maker of both kids stories and kids songs as well as adult tales, I decided to tune into the land on which our community is built known as Bundjulung country. I used the fictional Lake Namun (Namun means wise in Bundjulung language) as a metaphor to describe the reservoir of inspired intention and understanding required to sustain a group of individuals working harmoniously together. The story that came is very much a modern Australian fairytale deeply rooted in a western cultural landscape that pays respect to the original stories and dreaming of this land. I hope it portrays my own striving (and I think that of many other Australians) to connect with the wisdom of the Dreamtime stories and the indigenous spirits that continue to fill every part of our country (and maybe even slowly fill a little bit of us). I have purposely called it a fairy tale to acknowledge the European stories that live deeply within my own ancestry and I humbly offer this story of building healthy communities with full respect and gratitude to the people of the Bundjulung nation.

Please enjoy a new Australian fairy tale to inspire community spirit titled The People of Lake Namun.

Please note this is NOT a Dreamtime story and the Bundjulung words used throughout were given to me to use by a local Bundjulung man who is currently compiling a dictionary of the Bundjulung language.

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