Waddanangu, QLD, NOVEMBER 2021
I've been here for nearly a 1000 days. Waddananggu exists because it's formed out of a resistance to not die. We've been fighting against this Indian company, Adani, for over 10 years now. Sacrificing your time to save nature, for things that can't fight for themselves, is a noble cause. It’s probably the most selfless act that you could do.
It's become apparent to us that the government wanted to enact collective punishment on our whole tribe and basically dispossess us of all our tribal homelands. So this is the last stand, the last ditch effort to save some part of my Country. I use some of the [legal] ambiguities that give me enough leverage to really try and fight for some land rights, which we lost recognition of through the native title system. Through Waddananggu we've been able to stay alive and continue to assert ourselves.
On a day to day basis, that sacrifice manifests itself by having to get up every morning to make sure that our sacred fire continues to burn without interruption. A fire is the oldest symbol of occupation by humans. That symbol of occupation has been the same since the beginning of time, since humans first learnt how to make fire. Everybody that flies into the [Adani mine] camp or drives by, sees our fire burning. Inside of them they know that somebody's home. They know that we're still here. It acts like a deterrent, because they're scared of the unknown. When in natural fact it’s a mechanism for me to be able to connect to something living. The fire needs wood as fuel to eat, the fire needs air and the fire needs heat so it becomes alive and starts to dance. It's the oldest story telling accessory in the whole world. That's where all the stories have started, around a fire. Our story is that we are maintaining our position, that we occupy this land.

Gurridyula Gaba Wunggu is a proud Wangan and Jagalingou Cultural Custodian and Gadabama of Waddananggu. Find out about Waddananggu at https://standing-our-ground.org
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