Throughout the world, there are many different cultures and religions. These cultures have different views in which they see the world and act upon. Indigenous culture has many different nations throughout Australia and one of the biggest is The Wiradjuri Nation, based in New South Wales (NSW).
The Wiradjuri Nation is geographically the largest indigenous community within New South Wales as well as having one of the biggest population within an indigenous community. The Wiradjuri nation is located in NSW and extends from “Coonabarabran in the north, straddling the Great Dividing Range down to the Murray River and out to western NSW” (mldrin.org.au). Wiradjuri traditional country includes many different townships including Dubbo, Condobolin, Orange, Bathurst, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Narrandera and Griffith (as seen in figure 1). Known as the people of three rivers, the Wiradjuri people have lived in NSW for at least 40,000 years (Condobolin.nsw.au).
Wiradjuri people have been custodians of the land for 40,000 years, they have lived in harmony with the environment taking only what was needed. Groups of men, women and children travelled in groups following the seasonal availability of food and resources. The men and women would hunt and gather what they needed with a variety of tools, weapons and methods. (Paul Greenwood, schools.nsw.edu.au)
A group would consist of 10 to 50 people depending on food supply and other things. Each group was based on family groups and relationships. The Wiradjuri nation was made up of hundreds of groups living throughout the territory. These groups had the same language and beliefs which made them a “nation”. Each of the people had a specific relationship with the others in the group and the nation. The relationship rules came from “dreaming”, “Dreaming was very important. It is through dreaming that traditional ways were followed. Dreaming explains how the land, animals and plants were created” (Paul Greenwood, schools.nsw.edu.au). The “dreaming” told them who they could marry and how they can live.
Each family has a special connection with an animal, bird or fish. This is known as there “Totem”. A Totem is a natural or legendary animal in which you feel a special and close connection during your life or some particular period of your life (crystal-cure.com). There are heaps of rules within their worldview of the “totem”, “You cannot harm or kill your totem. Strangers identified each other by totem and could determine who was friendly and who was not friendly. A man would never consciously kill or hurt someone of his totem. People with the same totem could not marry each other” (Paul Greenwood, schools.nsw.edu.au). As seen in figure 2, there are many different animals relating to different family’s.
Land and rivers were a very important part of the Wiradjuri nation. There was no ownership of the land but instead people were the caretakers of the land. The environment was protected and respected as was tradition and law. By protecting the environment, they ensured that there was always plenty of food and resources available. Each area was looked after by a keeper called a Gunjung. This man of authority would protect the land from exploitation. He would stay in the area and make sure the rivers; the land and its animals were not exploited. Already, we can gather an understanding of the Wiradjuri worldview. The nation works as a team together, and as a family. (Paul Greenwood)
Indigenous and Western worldviews are very different from each other, although there are many differences, there is no right or wrong way. “A worldview is a view of the world, used for living in the world, a world view is a mental model of reality” (http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/views/index.html). Wiradjuri culture believes the following; “Spiritually orientated society. System based on belief and spiritual world, there can be many truths; truths are dependent upon individual experiences, Society operates in a state of relatedness. Everything and everyone is related. There is real belief that people, objects and the environment are all connected. Law, kinship and spirituality reinforce this connectedness. Identity comes from connections, the land is sacred and usually given by a creator or supreme being, Time is non-linear, cyclical in nature. Time is measured in cyclical events. The seasons are central to this cyclical concept.” The western culture is as following; “Scientific, skeptical. Requiring proof as a basis of belief, there is only one truth, based on science or Western style law, Compartmentalized society, becoming more so, the land and its resources should be available for development and extraction for the benefit of humans, Time is usually linearly structured and future orientated. The framework of months, years, days etc. reinforces the linear structure.” (https://www.ictinc.ca/blog/indigenous-peoples-worldviews-vs-western-worldviews). It is clearly seen throughout the indigenous and western culture that it is very different from each other but there is no right or wrong. A worldview is someone’s view of the world in which they think is right.
Not everyone believes in exactly the worldviews as stated above, they are just general assumptions. Personally, I see the world as black and white, there’s a wrong way and there is a right way. Animals have the right to live and that is a very strong part in my personal worldview and there has been implementations throughout my life that I’ve changed too stand up for the views and opinions in which I have.