05510017It may seem strange to have a cultural exchange in Australia with Australians, but the reality is that there is so much for us all to learn.

The partnership between Mapuru and Friends of Mapuru is built upon sharing knowledge and cultivating relationships to create new pathways to opportunities that are currently out of reach for the Mapuru community, due to language barriers, distance and cultural differences.  The partnership aims to support the community of Mapuru through:

Four generations of women make up the Arnhem Weavers. This project focus’ directly on supporting women and student weavers in all aspects of culture, tradition and living in two worlds, while also strengthening existing relationships with people outside of the Territory.

The young indigenous people of Mapuru have so much to offer the rest of Australia, both indigenous and non-indigenous in terms of; culture; pride; empowerment; family; sharing; and living in two worlds. By partnering with the community we can support the adults, and encourage the young people to maintain the links to their rich cultural heritage, in turn supporting the leaders of the future.

Mapuru already invites visitors into their community to share and teach traditional weaving practices.  The Mapuru/ Melbourne Cultural exchange is an extension of this allowing the community to continue to develop relationships and share skills and knowledge of their tradition and culture, on their terms with a wider audience.

By billeting with whitefellas who understand and respect Yolngu world-views, languages and social norms, the women and students can gain confidence to interact with the wider Western lifestyle thereby allowing Yolngu to be proud .  This is a pretty big trip, travelling over 3000km and not even leaving Australia!  For some this will be their first big journey away from home.

This is the first of what is hoped will be many cultural exchanges for members of the community of Mapuru with people around Australia. While in Melbourne the women will have the opportunity to meet up with old friends and new acquaintances and meet with local Victorian Aboriginal people to talk about possible future connections.

By working together we can nurture and develop relationships while all learning fundamental life skills.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s