DSMG has received a Parramatta Council Community Capacity Building Grant of $10,000 to work with Dharug community and families to participate in further planting of culturally important plants in Parramatta Park and to strengthen understanding of the cultural landscape and history of Parramatta as a foundation for better Dharug futures.
This small project will be activated later in 2022 and will connect to activities celebrating important anniversaries of the Blacktown Native Institute in 2023 and reflect on shared responsibilities to Dharug yura (people) and Ngura (Country) as part of the Parramatta community. The project will involve:
· hosting, filming and documenting field days with Dharug families through immersive cultural experiences to connect to Country,
· active environmental activities to encourage new culturally significant plants to flourish in Parramatta Park,
· walks along the river to introduce young people to cultural knowledge and storying about the river and its history, and
• participation by Dharug artists and performers to inspire young people and community.
We hope that this project will increase Dharug participants’ sense of belonging and connection in Parramatta Park and the banks of the Parramatta River where so much rapid development is threatening the cultural landscape. We aim to help in building community confidence in Dharug identity and knowledge.
We will be organising up to four workshops in Parramatta Park and along Parramatta River to plant culturally valued plant species and increase community knowledge of the Dharug cultural landscape. The activities will build Dharug confidence to participate in Parramatta and foster capacity to advocate Dharug presence and values across Parramatta. Our project focuses on planting, storying, walking and yarning at key sites in the area. We will invite elders, artists, performers and community leaders to share knowledge of plants, places, history, landform and story while participants are involved in planting and other activities around culture, identity and knowledge.
We gratefully acknowledge Parramatta Council's community grants program.