Rosemary Gundjarraŋbuy

20182022

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Birthing on Country Research Fellow, Molly Wardaguga Research Centre

My name is Gundjarraŋbuy (Rosemary). I am a senior elderly woman from the Garrawurra Ḻiya-gäwumirr clan. I have grown up as a clan member of Garrawurra. I have come up as a clan member of the paramount underlying structure that is identifying all Dhuwa and Yirritja clans. We act, and I act, through my concept of my Dhuwa clan in my land which is in Dhambala and Gärriyak. They structure the concepts of relationships between Dhuwa people to other different sets of relationships between Dhuwa people in their country, and their ancestral beings. In my ceremony, as Garrawurra clan, we don’t use Didgeridoo, only biḻma (clapstick). It is the spirit of Dhuwa people that is in the country where we hold responsibility and authority, and this identifies us as we engage through our knowledge and consultation process of how we communicate in ceremony. 

I share my ancestral knowledge and foundation in the principles, roles and responsibilities that stands me firm in that area that I carry within my body. I stand and show myself and use these principles within me in my ceremony and where I am working. When I work together with others, like CDU, this is how I communicate and share that knowledge. 

Other people see that I am not nobody, I use this knowledge. It is important for me to use those elements, the diagram of my own Yolŋu community to show that I am doing this work respectfully from a Yolŋu point of view. I use this knowledge and power facilitating the impact of Yolŋu decision making process, showing who I am. This is me as Yolŋu, I am connected through physical, emotional and spiritual. 

I worked for 20 years as a teacher at Shepherdson College when it was a bilingual school. We had a two-ways approach to education. Then I worked as an Assistant Manager alongside Balanda (non-Indigenous people) at the Yalu’ Marŋgithinyaraw Indigenous Corporation, and as a researcher with Charles Darwin University. I stand for any projects coming in through Yalu’ so we could do the research here in Galiwin’ku. Then I stepped back from the management role, and worked as a team leader facilitating Yolŋu people and their programs, supporting and encouraging Yolŋu in their work. Most recently I have returned to research and now I am working on the CDU on the Birthing on Country project. These are the knowledges that I use and have been carrying for a long time. My heart is with research. 

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