How Indigenous Wisdom Can Help Us Cope With Lockdown | ABC Radio Interview

In this ABC Illawarra Radio interview, Aunty Munya talks to Peter Riley about the practices Indigenous people draw on to help them cope with adversity and how these practices can be particularly helpful during lockdown.

Having been brought up to feel deeply connected to Country and her Ancestors, Aunty Munya never feels alone. She also draws on techniques like Dadirri to help her “go with the flow”.

As one of the most resilient and longest surviving cultures on the planet, Aunty Munya believes all Australians can benefit from Indigenous wisdom which she shares through her work at Evolve Communities.

To support you and your employees, we are extending access to our Heal Country – On Demand webinar beyond July. Inspired by this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, we believe the Indigenous concept of Connection to Country has much to offer all Australians at this time.

Some key takeaways shared by our participants include:

  • Aunty Munya is an incredibly engaging educator – her warmth shines through even online!
  • Understanding Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country. I’m inspired to find out more about the Country I live on.
  • Remembering that we are all connected, no matter our heritage or where we now live. 

What’s helping you cope? Please share your strategies in the comments below.

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7 Comments. Leave new

  • Nungamanladi Aunty Carla and Aunty Munya,

    I belong to an Aboriginal healing group that meets weekly and keeps me in touch with the common truths in Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal cultures. Importantly to respect and honour Indigenous peoples and their history and culture.. The spirit of the group is to accept all no matter what heritage, or belief system. The focus is to care for one another.

    I also work, in a small way, with Aboriginal children which helps me feel that in my own small way that I’m doing more than just talking .

    Kind regards

  • Shauna Pollard
    August 11, 2021 4:17 am

    Just thought I would drop you a line to tell you that following the learning I added to my email an Acknowledgement of Country I thought to be appropriate for the school librarian.

  • Tendai Chikweche
    August 9, 2021 7:50 am

    Nungamanladi Carla and Aunty Munya,
    Thank you so much for this much appreciated in these difficult times, I have been spending more time with family and reading more literature on First Nations from various scholars away from all the talk and worry around us. Connecting and yarning with family overseas and getting my Old people to share some stories on the importance of simplicity in life with my children has also been very calming for me. I have probably grown to be more calm and more respectful and open to listening to other people’s perspectives even those I dont agree with but that is very peaceful amid all the ‘noise from the media’. I have also taken some time to reflect on my own work and interests on various projects that I have set aside and not been able to proceed with in the last year or so. I would be honoured to yarn some of these ideas with you some time when you have some free time in your busy schedule . I hope all is well with you and your families, stay safe and look-out for each other.

  • Nungamanladi Aunties,

    I’m coping by painting. I have just discovered that not only do warm colours advance, and cool colours recede on a canvas, but so do bright or dull versions of the same colour, and so on. So I have played with the same canvas about 6 times so far, trying to work out if a light brown in further forward than a blueish version of purple.

    I am spending a lot of time reading, and am particularly into stories. Harry Turtledove’s alternative histories are always interesting escapism.

    Beyond that, apart from amusing myself, I am very conscious that (so far) Canberra has been lucky not to have too many cases (and none at present). But my friends and family elsewhere have not been so fortunate. So I sent some hampers to some old friends in Melbourne last year, and will do the same for some Sydney friends this weekend. I also try to find stuff online that will make them laugh.

    Talking to them is probably the right thing to do, but I am not sure what to say. My life was not exactly exciting before COVID19 hit, but even so, especially for the extroverts, it probably sounds wonderful at present. So if I mention having gone to a restaurant or pub, etc, I feel as though it will make my friends in lockdown feel worse. And in many cases, maybe the truth is that some of these friendships were pretty one-sided to start with….I would often put more effort than they did.

    For other (closer) friends, I have gone back to writing letters. Not necessarily long ones, but just to let them know I am thinking of them. It’s amazing that something which used to be commonplace now carries such emotional power, because it shows that someone has taken more time and effort…and that feeling carries through when it arrives….

    How about both of you? Things must be rather turbulent for you, your families and friends at present. Business may be….disrupted…at the very least. And perhaps you have your own health concerns. In any case, thank you for reaching out.

    I hope you both remain safe and sound until we collectively get through this challenge all over the world. Please take good care of yourselves 🙂

    Warm regards


    • Carla Rogers
      August 5, 2021 6:03 am

      Thanks Scott – Aunty Munya and I really enjoyed reading this and appreciate all you have shared and your concern for our wellbeing. I particularly love what you shared about writing letters! Technology is wonderful but a handwritten letter feels so personal and tangible in this virtual world. Thanks again for sharing.

  • What helps me cope? The opportunity to exercise outdoors with my children. Just getting out for a walk around the neighbourhood or in the bush really revives your soul.
    We are lucky to be close to Bobbin Head so I can see wallabies and walk to the water. It’s fantastic and really makes me feel better if I am feeling low.

    • Maria, Evolve Communications
      August 4, 2021 6:21 am

      Thanks for sharing your strategies Veronica – walking, being outdoors in nature, is helping me too. I love how Aunty Munya explains that to Indigenous people Country is Family ?


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