Oncountry Learning, 2016

Oncountry Audio from 2013


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Oncountry Learning, 2015


Oncountry 2015


Oncountry 2014

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Oncountry2013: Ten Years & Still Going Strong


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Oncountry Students 2012

Student Reflections of the Oncountry Experience, No1

Student Reflections of the Oncountry Experience, No 2

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Oncountryers, 2011: What a Top Group

Tag yourself in the group so we know whos who
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If you wanna hug a nice old friendly River Red, come and do Oncountry Learning: Oncountry Crew, 2003.

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Maranooka- Hello and Welcome to Oncountry Learning

This WordPress Site is designed to complement the ‘Oncountry Learning Course’ that I teach at the University of Melbourne.  The course is a field based program taught in Yorta Yorta country in the first week of February each year-see Yorta Yorta country below. It is open for students that have completed the first year Indigenous Studies program at the University and is accredited towards their undergraduate studies. Other Oncountry camps in Yorta Yorta Country are held during the year and will be an integral part of  the future management plan for the newly created  Barmah-Millewa National Parks.

    Barmah-Millewa National Park Wetlands-Yorta Yorta Country

   The Oncountry course is designed to give students a deeper understanding of Yorta Yorta connections with the ancestral lands and their ongoing struggle to achieve land justice and the protection of their cultural heritage. With the recent decision by the Victorian and New South Wales Government to establish the Barmah-Millewa National Parks,  the Yorta Yorta have been recognised as the traditional owners and are in the process of negotiating Joint Management and Land Justice agreements with both Governments.

    Barmah-Millewa Forest-Wetlands  

  The Barmah-Millewa is a natural and cultural landscape  of unique Red Gum Forest Wetlands. They are of profound National and International importance and are located in the heartland of Yorta Yorta traditional lands-see map on site. These forest wetlands are now being replenished by the significant rainfalls that have fallen during the winter which will provide a lifeline for the red gums and their survival of the drought of the  last  decade.  More detail will be added on land and water based issues and their importance to the Yorta Yorta on this site.

Students participating in the course get an opportunity to visit some of the key sites and learn of the antiquity of Yorta Yorta connections with the ancestral lands which is estimated to be at least 60,000 years.

Once a timeline of Yorta Yorta occupation is established students are then introduced to the diversity of programs and service delivery organisations that operate in the region. This helps students gain a deeper  insight into the roles and functions of community based organisations and the multitude of programs that they deliver in 21st Century  Indigenous  Affairs policy and administration not to mention the difficulties that organisations face in maintaining these programs in regional Australia.

 Different ways of  Learning using the ‘Storyline Approach’

The course is unique in  its teaching content and style. It  utilises much of the oral knowledge  and storylines of Yorta Yorta  History and Culture which is supplemented by the disciplines of Archaeology, History, Politics, Legal studies and Natural Resource Managment.  The main subjects  that it focuses on are Indigenous rights based issues, in relation to  land, water, cultural heritage, natural resource management,  and the environment.

Forest Wetlands and River Based People

Being a river based people the Yorta Yorta storylines of their connection with the wetlands will be a key feature of this  site. Images of the  magnificent wetlands when they are being replenished by the rains in the uplands and the wildlife that depend on these wetlands for natural breeding and resting habitat will be  some of  the features.   This will be complimented by materials from  Yorta Yorta including oral knowledge that will be used to create  a narrative style to the storylines. As students travel through the Forest wetlands they will hear the muti layered story lines being drawn upon by Yorta Yorta speakers as they share their knowledge .

As the creater and Coordinator of the Word Press site,  I welcome those who may be interested in finding out more about the Course and Yorta Yorta connections and to enjoy the materials provided.

Gaka Yawall Ngulla Yenbena Yorta Yorta Woka: Come walk with us the people on Yorta Yorta country

Replenishment time Barmah-Millewa Forest Wetlands, 2010
The Need for a more Holistic View of Land & Heritage

Dr Wayne Atkinson-Yorta Yorta Elder
Senior Fellow, School of Social & Political Science
University of Melbourne



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