Author(s): Joy Murphy
This is an expansive and generous Welcome to Country from a most respected Elder, Aunty Joy Murphy, beautifully given form by Indigenous artist Lisa Kennedy. Welcome to the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People. We are part of this land and the land is part of us. This is where we come from. Wominjeka Wurundjeri balluk yearmenn koondee bik. Welcome to Country. Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy is a most respected senior Wurundjeri elder of the Kulin alliance. This is a very accessible welcome that introduces and gives meaning and explanation within the text to the customs and symbols of Indigenous Australia. Aboriginal communities across Australia have boundaries that are defined by mountain ranges and waterways. Traditionally, to cross these boundaries or enter community country you needed permission from the neighbouring community. When this permission was granted the ceremony now called Welcome to Country took place. Each community had its own way of welcoming to country, and they still do today.
Joy Murphy Wandin is the Senior Aboriginal Elder of the Wurundjeri People of Melbourne and surrounds. We show respect for her and other Elders by calling them Aunty or Uncle. Aunty Joy has had numerous government appointments including as a member of the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria and of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. She is a storyteller and a writer and is passionate about using story to bring people together and as a conduit for understanding Aboriginal culture. Welcome to Country is her first book. Lisa Kennedy is descendant of the Trawlwoolway People on the north-east coast of Tasmania. Lisa was born in Melbourne and as a child lived close to the Maribyrnong River. Here she experienced the gradual restoration of the natural river environment alongside cultural regeneration and reclamation. Through sense of place she feels connected to the Wurundjeri country and all that entails - the water, the land, the animals and the ancestors. The experience of loss and reclamation is embedded in her work.