I am a Kamilaroi woman, living on Wonnarua country on the outskirts of Singleton, in the Hunter Valley. I farm the land that my people have for thousands of years before me. Growing food for my family and my neighbours comes naturally to me, and it is something that I take great pride in.
Twenty years from now I step outside to start my day. The air is still frosty. Tugging on my boots, my breath visibly puffs and blurs my vision of the walkway to the garden. Trudging along the path, I hear the cockies gossiping to each other from high in the gums trees, whilst an occasional crow makes itself known, drifting down from the grevilleas in the distance. Watering is always the first chore of the day. Spraying the crops from high above, the water droplets fall off the leaves onto the mulch and eventually saturated the earth beneath my feet. The worms rejoice with a well-deserved morning drink, as they squirm happily working harder and harder each day.
I have been a farmer now for 24 years. During this time, the land around me has been in a constant state of regeneration. Stewardship of the natural environment has become the greatest priority for my community. The patchwork of diverse trees that once only ran on either side of the river that flows through my property, now extends all the way to the ocean, as every landholder now nurtures their section of the water cause. Together each community member sequesters carbon through improving their soils, and helps to restore our river systems in which we all rely on. Aboriginal land management is now holistically championed by all farmers, with my people’s farming practices being adopted and used to help the regeneration of properties across Australia.
Twenty years from now I envision that I would be finally able to call myself a proud Aboriginal farmer on Wonnarua land.