A great night exploring sense of place

There was a full house at a public lecture in Geraldton last week, as part of the Goodness Festival and National Science Week, exploring the concept of ‘sense of place’ and what it means to different people.

Sense of place basically refers to the way in which some places have more of a special significance for individuals than others. All of us have places which are more meaningful than others, that have a strong ‘sense of place’.

NACC and the Western Australian Museum-Geraldton organised the public lecture to specifically explore the idea of ‘sense of place’ in relation to Aboriginal culture, nature, and out-of-space.

The evening commenced with an appropriately moving performance by Leroy Shiosaki – who played the digeridoo as part of the Welcome to County. It was extremely well received by the audience and set the scene perfectly for the speakers.

Attendees heard from NACC’s Aboriginal Participation Office Bianca McNeair and CEO Richard McLellan on how a ‘sense of place’ can be derived from a mix of natural and cultural features in the landscape, and the people who occupy the place.

A final presentation by Astrophotographer Dr John Goldsmith directed the audiences’ eyes to the sky with his out of this world view on finding ‘a sense of place’.

There was also a special viewing of the “Murchison elders pass on Indigenous cultural knowledge” short film, produced by ABC Mid-West and Wheatbelt’s Chris Lewis, which was showcased nationally recently during the 2016 NAIDOC Week.

The feedback from the participants was appropriately “sky-high”, with reflections from the audience on what “sense of place” meant to them as individuals, as well as their appreciation of being asked to “look in, look around, and look up” to better get in touch with, and appreciate their world.

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