Understanding Country ConnectionsDeakin news
School of Architecture and Built Environment researcher Professor David Jones is involved with a project that has been successful in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage awards.
Professor Jones is a member of the research team for the ‘Being On Country Off Country’ project that aims to understand contemporary Australian Aboriginal connections to 'Country', and which involves direct partnerships with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation.
This project aims to understand contemporary Australian Aboriginal connections to 'Country'. The concept of Country is integral to Australian Aboriginal meaning and culture, and Country and the individual are anthropologically inseparable and co-dependent.
Being ‘on Country’ implies residency within a tract of landscape involving cultural origins and responsibilities, whereas being ‘off Country’ implies residency external to this home land. How, and to what degree, these on and off protocols operate has not previously been researched.
The project aims to explore regional and urban residency relationships in relation to Aboriginal Corporation membership eligibility and to Country self-nurture and custodianship relationships. It is highly relevant to Indigenous communities worldwide as their people move from their 'Country' to satisfy higher education and employment aspirations. The issues are central to improving Indigenous community engagement in planning.
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Being ‘on Country’ implies residency within a tract of landscape involving cultural origins and responsibilities, whereas being ‘off Country’ implies residency external to this home land.
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