I admire the Acknowledgement of Country we are now more routinely building into the opening of events here in Australia. I love it when it is a heartfelt acknowledgement and not a "script". Acknowledging the traditional owners of our land pays respect to those who were the original custodians of the land - the most resilient race with over 60,000 years of continuous occupation of a country. We can learn a lot from their connection to country. It was something that we also valued in the 6 years we lived in New Zealand. We learned our "mihi" - a way of describing our place, our river, our mountain and our ocean.
This year as we had a family break at Lake Crackenback I was reminded that a sense of place and connection does not only relate to where you were born or live. It can be a place that emotionally connects you, your emotions, your family and friends to a landscape or a place.
Over 15 years ago we started to go to Lake Crackenback with our best friends and their daughters. Our girls all learned to ski together and we all were there to connect and support each other whatever was happening. Mostly it was love and laughter. As Kirsten and Matt became a couple we had the opportunity to connect with who was to become our future son in law. When Michaels Mum died we went away to Lake Crackenback to grieve. Now as we take time to switch off and connect we go to Lake Crackenback with our newly married daughter and son in law. When you connect so deeply to a place you ease right in and connect more easily with each other. When you lose the connection to place you can become lost and alone. This is what we must remember. This is why we must be respectful and acknowledge the traditional owners of the land that we can enjoy because of their care and respect for it.