Friday, March 18, 2016

Yarringa Woka Yenbena Djitga (Sun Country Aboriginal Feast)

"The traditional owners of this land, the Yorta Yorta people, invite you to join them for an Aboriginal-themed dinner held within the magnificient heritage-listed Barmah National Park hosted at the Dharnya Centre. Referred to as the "University of the Bush" by the Yorta Yorta people, the Centre is situated amongst the world's largest stands of river red gums.

Experience a Welcome to Country and enjoy storytelling and conversation with local Yorta Yorta elders whilst enjoying pre-dinner drinks and nibbles. Then be seated for three courses combining traditional and contemporary tastes, served with local award-winning wines from Monichino.
During the event you will gain an insight into the traditional customs of the Yorta Yorta through dance, language, art, music and cuisine."

Yarringa Woka Yenbena Djitga (Sun Country Aboriginal Feast)

What an invitation! It sounded right up our alley so Bel and I headed up there via Cactus Country (another future post) and stayed in a yurt (also a future post).

I would like to take this moment to acknowledge the Yorta Yorta people, the traditional custodians of the land I visited. I would also like to pay respect to the elders past and present of the Yorta Yorta nation and extend that respect to other Aboriginal people present. Thank you for caring for the land and the animals. An extra thank you to those who were part of the Yarringa Woka Yenbena Djitga (Sun Country Aboriginal Feast) for sharing your culture, stories, knowledge and wisdom with us.

Beautiful Red Gums

It was such a special evening beginning with some drinks, nibbles and chatting whilst watching the beautiful Murray sunset amongst the River Red Gums in Barmah National Park.


  • Spice bush salt smoked roast emu on native damper with quandong jam (one of my fav's for the night) 
  • Crumbed barramundi bites with native lime finger aioli

As the night descended, we were welcomed to the evening and invited to watch a didgeridoo and dance. The gentleman playing the didgeridoo would continue on as one part of the duo playing covers throughout the night. He performed with his adorable nephews who began with clapping sticks to the beat before transforming to native animals in their dance.

Aboriginal Dance

As the dance and didgeridoo ceremony came to an end, we were invited inside the Dharnya Centre - a beautiful space that I wish I had taken more photos of! The poles were smoothed slightly but still resembled original tree trunks. 

A Welcome to Country by a Yorta Yorta elder - casual and relaxed; not like the formal ones we have become accustomed to which was really nice :) 

On our table were my beautiful friends Tess and Bel, as well as a lovely couple from Newstead - Robyn and Michael. It was great night of conversation around earth building, growing, learning and life. 

  • Wild plum glazed duck with caramelised onion on native thyme tartlet 
  • Yabbi ravioli, agnolotti with bush tomato bruschetta and native herbs 

Followed by the story of the Dharnya Centre from some Yorta Yorta elders including the first person who was employed at the centre in 1985 with just a table and a phone as well as an Aunty who is also involved with Parks Vic for the local area. She shared the amazing rich history of the area, in particular the Centre. How her elders had specifically chosen this spot for the Centre and in its peak times, ran camps for their people, school camps as well as disadvantaged youth; witnessing the magic of the bush as life changing experiences for these people. Unfortunately the surrounding facilities have closed as there hasn't been funding. They hope that in the near future, the Dharnya Centre can return to what it was originally intended as - "a place to learn and share". 

  • Native Murray cod, confit of chat lemon myrtle on spinach, roasted tomato, sea asparagus and native herbs with dill jus 
  • Marinated kangaroo fillets on parsnip horseradish purée with fresh asparagus, broad beans and fried yams with Shiraz and bush tomato jus (delish!!!)

The food they were serving from their outdoor temporary kitchen set-up was delicious. Also to breathe in the cool fresh bush air and stargaze. Meanwhile also learning about Kelie and the upcoming Koori Arts and Crafts Market (March, 26) and having a lovely chat to the Aunty to thank her for sharing the story of the Centre.

Dessert Trio: 
  • River mint chocolate mousse 
  • Lilli pilli cheesecake 
  • Wattleseed ice-cream with river gum honey and brandy snap basket (my fav! esp. that ice-cream!) 

With tea, coffee, thank yous and farewells, it was a beautiful night to remember which truly lived up to its purpose - Dharnya Centre - a place to learn and share!

Yorta Yorta Nation cooks, wait staff and MC

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"The way we see the world is how we treat the world." - David Suzuki

A fresh start to my blog! A lot has happened since my 2013 post and I have been thinking about blogging again as there are so much to share about my adventures in exploring...

- sustainability
- education
- positive psychology
- well-being
- Aboriginal culture
- beyond sustainability through permaculture

I feel the need to contribute back and to society; to help spread and educate others with the information that I've been learning and gathering. It has been an absolute blessing to be able to follow my passions even more so this year. Thank you to my family, friends, colleagues, nature and everyone that I have met so far.

I want to share some of my experiences and widen this than just the people I interact with face to face so what better way than return to blogging! There is plenty info out there already but here are some of the things I'll be posting my photos and notes from include:

- Yarringa Woka Yenbena Djitga (Sun Country Aboriginal Feast) Yorta Yorta Nations, Dharnya Centre, Barmah National Park
- Aboriginal Gardens, Monash University - Clayton
- Bush Foods with Karen from Edible Eden Gardens at the Edible Forest Gardens Open Day
- State of the Climate, Dr Karl Braganza, Climate Monitoring Manager, Bureau of Meteorology
- Brene Brown at The School of Life: Rising Strong, Sydney
- Plastic Bag Free Victoria
- For Thought: Hope for the Planet, David Suzuki, Tim Flannery and Naomi Oreske
- Emma Dean and Permie Scott on Zero Waste Cooking and Permaculture
- Quiet, Susan Cain
- The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo
- Zero waste journey
- On Consumption, Magnus and Joost, The School of Life
- On Misinformation, Dr Karl, The School of Life
- On (Not) Knowing, Lawrence Leung, The School of Life
- Festival 21

These posts are my recollection and perspective on the events. They might not be perfect but hopefully they highlight some of the amazing things that are happening in our world....