Seventy-five persons were led by young adult members of the indigenous Tribal Warrior Association on a four-hour guided tour that dealt with the Aboriginal cultural significance of the section of Port Jackson (“Sydney Harbour”) from Dawes Point under the Harbour Bridge, past Circular Quay and the famed Sydney Opera House and then along the southern shoreline past Lady Macquarie’s Chair. There were six set stopping points along the way where the entire group was addressed simultaneously, and for the rest of the time participants walked along in small groups, each with one of these Aboriginal guides. The Aboriginal young people relate stories they have heard from their elders about pre-European culture in the area, and the arrival of the European colonizers from 1788 onwards.
Most of those attending were from three Sydney Augustinian ministries: North Harbour Parish (Manly Vale, Balgowlah), Holy Spirit Parish (St Clair), and St Augustine’s College (Brookvale). Five of the 2014 group of Augustinian Volunteers also participated in the Walkabout, and were happy to answer questions about the AVA vision and program.
Mr Paul Wilson, who is the full-time AVA chief executive officer, employed by the Augustinians, commented, “Just as happened last year, the people attending were impressed by the level of the knowledge, commitment and passion for their cultural heritage that our four Tribal Warrior guides demonstrated. For some of them, Port Jackson is their own traditional territory.”
AVA has been one effective means by which these Tribal Warrior youth have compiled a body of this local cultural knowledge. Young adults in Augustinian Volunteers Australia (AVA) have coached these Aboriginal youth is research methods, the use of i-pads that were donated by AVA corporate sponsors, and encouraging them in their goal of employment as cultural tour guides in the Sydney area. The next step being offered to them by AVA are classes in business management from business people recruited by AVA, so that these young adults can commence their own walking tours as part of their self-employment.
Information about Augustinian Volunteers Australia and about assisting them financially is available. Contact :
Mr Paul Wilson, Justice and Peace Officer,Order of St Augustine P.O. Box 7278 Warringah Mall Brookvale NSW 2100 Mobile phone: 0438 646 294 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the most recent issue of the Augustinian Justice and Peace Bulletin (April 2014), click here.