Connection to country builds strength in all of us

08 June 2021

Cultural Burning

For most people, a walk in nature has the power to bring a sense of calm and stillness into a busy mind.

For Jaimie Vincent, a Wiradjuri woman, spending time ‘on country’ with members of her mob is integrally connected to celebrating her cultural identity.

“Going on country and learning sacred practices that effectively support the health and healing of our surrounding environment gives me a strength I never knew I had. There are times when we can all feel displaced or offtrack, and for me returning to country and remembering the stories that have been passed on to me really grounds me by reminding me what’s important,” Jaimie said.

Sharing her stories with others at gatherings on country brings Jaimie a great sense of connection.

“What makes me proud as an Aboriginal woman is being able to share knowledge and stories in a way that lifts others. By sharing culture and starting conversations it creates connection with others, and we can feed off that energy together and re-energise.”

Cultural burning is just one example of an Indigenous cultural practice Jaimie has learned about to care for the land.

“Cultural burning is one of the most sacred practices we use to support country to feel well and thrive and has existed for as long as my ancestors have been dreaming and singing. It’s such a precious way to care for country and I feel honoured to be a part of learning and sharing this practice.”

As a mother of two young kids, Jaimie often takes them out to country too.

“They are at their best and their happiest when they are on country. They ask for it and seeing them draw energy from the land makes me so happy.”

As well as going out to country, Jaimie and her kids explore their culture together and share stories of their family’s dreaming.

“We also paint a lot. I feel particularly grounded and connected when I’m putting my stories and my dreaming on to canvas. We often get one big canvas and we all paint on to it together. We talk about what we’re drawing and it’s a lovely experience.”