Meal, camp­fire helps con­nect to land

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Times News -

A BOYUP Brook farmer says the sim­ple act of shar­ing a meal and a yarn or two around a camp­fire has helped him feel more con­nected to his com­mu­nity and land.

Louis Ver­heggen hosted 45 to 50 peo­ple in­clud­ing Abo­rig­i­nal elders and fam­i­lies at his Wan­doo Springs prop­erty on Au­gust 19.

The idea for the event came about through a Land­mark Ed­u­ca­tion per­sonal de­vel­op­ment course.

Here Mr Ver­heggen got to know Bun­bury-based Ya­matji woman Del Sch­warze.

She sug­gested a gath­er­ing where Abo­rig­i­nal and peo­ple of other eth­nic­i­ties could tell yarns and con­nect to each other and the land. He said Don­ny­brook man Karim Khan, who has Abo­rig­i­nal and In­dian her­itage, was part of the group and opened his eyes to the value of na­tive plants such as a small potato-like tu­ber.

“We dug it up and he said, ‘you get enough of these and it makes a feed’,” Mr Ver­heggen said.

“And I just be­came con­scious of the fact that I’d been walk­ing past these things for 19 years and if it’s not a Euro­pean species, I don’t re­ally recog­nise what it is.”

Ms Sch­warze said the group in­cluded lo­cals and peo­ple from Margaret River, Perth and Pin­gelly.

She said they shared a meal, a laugh and talked about cul­tural mat­ters in­clud­ing tool mak­ing.

Kan­ga­roo tail stew and damper were on the menu along with dessert.

Peo­ple shared a meal of roo tail stew and swapped sto­ries at Louis Ver­heggen’s Wan­doo Springs prop­erty last month.

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