First Nations knowledge systems recognise all things are of and from the land. We exist in a reciprocal relationship with Country, and we have a responsibility to give back to it. However, western cultural agencies and institutions rarely hold space for this.
By engaging in and reflecting on reciprocity, we can become a part of an irresistible collaborative responsibility to care for and honour the land. Giving back, connecting and caring for Country allows us to demonstrate real action towards climate change together with First Nations communities and all life within and across stolen and unceded land in Australia.
Caring for Country leave is proactive and preventative climate action. Access a new category of leave that enables you to give back to Country through culturally and environmentally appropriate activities locally and across Australia.
Sara Padgett Kjaersgaard is the Director of Landscape Architecture and Senior Lecturer in the School of Bult Environment. Sara is a non-Indigenous Australian with ancestral ties to Scotland and France, and Denmark through marriage. She was born in Naarm (Melbourne) and raised on Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung Country, however has spent most of her life growing up on Whadjuk Country (Perth), of the Noongar Nation. She now resides on Gadigal/Wangal Country in Sydney. Sara is a First Nation ally who is committed to real action when it comes to reconciliation. A central component of real action is allowing space for self-determination to flourish. In the context of the Caring for Country Leave project, Sara entrusts in the relational processes that are required to build the foundations and ongoing web of connections between human and more than human species.
Tessa Carnegie is the Project Officer supporting the strategy and project management of the Arts, Design and Architecture Indigenous Portfolio. Tessa has had a varied and vibrant career journey working across different industries and roles and, in this experience, honing a multifaceted skillset.
Tessa is a proud Birri Gubba Juru and South Sea Islander individual who endeavours to champion the ideas, opportunities, and pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the nation to build capability and confidence. This, in turn, goes hand in hand with the intention behind the Caring for Country Leave project; to effectively care for the country, it is vital we care honestly, with commitment, effective consultation, and deep understanding.