Distinct Voice: Aboriginal Elder, Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison
Tara Egger (North Sydney)
About the Video

This video captures words of wisdom from an Aboriginal Elder. Uncle Max speaks to our Year 7 students each year as they commence their Mercy education at Monte Sant' Angelo College. Bindarray.ga is a pond created over a decade ago, under the guidance of Aboriginal elders, within the College grounds – it means sacredness of water and the place honours water – the energy of life. You may notice that students and staff wear red headbands as they enter Bindarray.ga. To put the headband on and off it must first be touched to the earth with the wearer saying the words: “Through the Mother”. While wearing the headband we are asked not to eat; drink; think negative thoughts or do the wrong thing. Wearing the headbands places us in a respectful space of silence – a place to listen, watch and learn. Every 6 years (this year being only the second time) once Year 7 girls reach Year 12, they hand over custodianship of the pond and Uncle Max asks the students:

  • How will you connect with the land and the water?
  • What will Custodianship of Bindarray. ga mean to you over the coming years?
Words of Wisdom from an Aboriginal Elder of the Yuin People - Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison
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Tara Egger is a member of the Monte Sant' Angelo College North Sydney teaching staff.

'I have a passion for deepening my understanding of the interconnectedness of creation. Connection to the wisdom of Aboriginal elders has afforded me the opportunity to gain insight into a different worldview to that of my own. It is with a new consciousness that two-way, intercultural learning can occur.  

In the words of Pope Francis: “Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it..”  (LS 139)

Similarly in the words of Uncle Max: “it is so important to read the land, to be observant of the changing colour of the leaves, and the changes in behaviour of the animals, so we become aware and recognise the messages the land is sending us”.

So how can we as individuals guided by the Mercy charism become one with our earth and live out the fruits of integral ecology in our daily lives?'

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