Yanama budyari gumada: reframing the urban to care as Darug Country in western Sydney

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Abstract

In non-urban places of Australia, caring-as-Country frames natural resource management (NRM) as a practice of reciprocal, more-than-human care-giving (S. Suchet-Pearson, S. Wright, K. Lloyd, and L. Burarrwanga. 2013. ‘Caring as Country: towards and ontology of co-becoming in natural resource management.’ Asia Pacific Viewpoint 54 (2): 185–197). Caring-as-Country is an idea that encapsulates the entangled, reciprocal relationships that people have with, and as part of, agentic more-than-human worlds. In more urbanised places, however, practices of caring-as-Country are often unrecognised, undervalued and undocumented. In this paper we make explicit practices of caring, healing and rejuvenation at Yellomundee Regional Park, Darug Country in western Sydney. Our discussion of care, entanglement and reciprocity at Yellomundee focuses on two specific activities that embody caring-as-Country: the return of cultural burns and sustained presence on Country in the form of Darug-led culture camps. The Darug principle of yanama budyari gumada, to ‘walk with good spirit’, embodies and invites new ways of thinking and practising intercultural caring-as-Country in heavily colonised, urban places like Yellomundee. As we document the practices arising from this invitation, we consider its far-reaching implications for NRM and planning, and we expand on the importance of geographies of care for unceded urban places.

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Ngurra, D., Dadd, L., Glass, P., Scott, R., Graham, M., Judge, S., … Suchet-Pearson, S. (2019). Yanama budyari gumada: reframing the urban to care as Darug Country in western Sydney. Australian Geographer, 50(3), 279–293. https://doi.org/10.1080/00049182.2019.1601150

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