The Hobart Mercury has brought readers up to date on the latest advances in Aboriginality.
AN indigenous healer is singing to the spirits on Mt Wellington, native berries are being shared as bush tucker and a 40,000-year-old connection to country is guiding the hands cultivating the soil.
These are the traditions of the oldest continuous culture on the planet — and the same indigenous practices are part of present-day Tasmanian Aboriginal entrepreneurship.
It’s not all serenading the spirits, however. Real commerce is underway (emphasis added):
Sheldon Thomas, director of Trowunna Tours, has been studying traditional healing practices through an indigenous Alice Springs teacher.
He infuses the ancient wisdom into his tours on kunanyi (Mt Wellington), where participants are encouraged to let their spirits connect with the land.
Almost 100 people have been taken on a Trowunna tour since they began operating last year, with visitors experiencing bush remedies, bush tucker and stories.
One of the highlights is Mr Sheldon’s soaring song at the mountain’s “Octopus Tree”, which has tentacle-like roots wrapped around a giant boulder. “It’s a healing place for all people,” he said.
In June, Mr Sheldon will host 60 interstate visitors at Cradle Mountain, where he will deliver a healing program. Meanwhile, he is also selling little jars of healing — called Rrala Rub — that come straight from the bush, using extracts from leaves for aches and pains.
Once healed, what to do next? Why not skip the on-the-hour show at the Cat ‘n’ Fiddle Arcade and take in something genuinely inspiring:
“You see Aboriginal people at their strongest when you see them mutton-birding,” Mr [Clyde] Mansell said.
Aboriginals like the two gentlemen below, for instance, as presented to Mercury readers.