On Sunday 23rd March 2014, the Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Network celebrated Harmony Day with a Listening to the Land program at Green's Bush, Main Ridge.
The program began with a Welcome to Country from Aboriginal elder Uncle Lionel Lauch. This was followed by Reverend Hans Christiansen's reflection on Harmony Day, which is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of this land to those who have come from many countries around the world.
Green's Bush is the largest remnant of bushland within the Mornington Peninsula National Park, and home to a healthy population of kangaroos, wombats, possums plus many bird species and plant life.
Uncle Lionel led us on a silent walk along the edge of a babbling creek, then up through the woodland, stopping along the way to impart his knowledge of Aboriginal plant usage including food, medicines and other technology.
Upon our return, we were treated to a Smoking Ceremony in the age old tradition of welcoming people to the land, and cleansing our spirits. This was followed by a didgeridoo meditation and a wonderful shared vegetarian lunch.
Listening to the Land is an initiative of the Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Network, seeking to bring people from different faith and cultural backgrounds together to connect or reconnect with the Land and to be moved to care for the Land. For more information see www.mpin.org.au