India Pardoel: Connection to a dying country

After developing an interest in political and social justice, India Pardoel felt inspired to deepen her learning of Aboriginal culture.

“I thought it was important as well as extremely insightful to learn about the culture and continuous struggles of First Nations People, that was otherwise not taught in my other classes,” she said.

“I was especially interested in the political and social justice aspects of the course, having some exposure through activism, but wanted to learn more.

“I have enjoyed every topic we have covered, as well as how they have been taught as parts of a greater narrative, but an area I particularly enjoyed was learning about Aboriginal Connection to Country as well as how land was so skillfully and complexly managed by Aboriginal People pre-colonisation. This was previously the area I knew least about.”

India’s Major work is in an essay format where she discusses the barriers to, and expressions of Connection to Country.

“This includes the implementation community led Land Management, climate change adaptation and the political fight for land and ownership,” India said.

“To write this essay I interviewed Gundungurra Aboriginal Elder and leader David King, who co-runs Blue Mountains bushcare, a Gundungurra man, Dave Lardner, who works for NSW education, and was a Geo/Aborignal studies teacher, and Dr Jason De Santolo a Garrwa and Barungga man who works for Jumbana Research UTS design and has played an active role in climate and land rights activism.

“I also conducted deep research into the topic with articles and journals, keeping a log of my process throughout.”

View India’s Major Work here.