Module 3 – Site analysis and Indigenous perspective of place

This module advocates for placemakers to understand the place (the site) through the eyes of Indigenous Peoples and their understanding of Country. We take a approach that criticises the term ‘placemaking’ and instead advocates for processes sharing powerful “cultural narratives” to help heal the “silence and erasure” that colonisation brought to Australia.

The module begins by establishing the importance of narratives and using local knowledge as a multi-layered understandings of a place. In this process, it encourages us to break from what we perceive to be the ‘current community’ and expand to include the (hi)stories of past and present First Nations People. Told as a personal journey that transforms the self, the people involved and the place, this module shares the process followed during the XXX Sandbox Studio to ‘talk with Country’ and ‘walk with Country’ giving ourselves time to really listen and celebrate it for the living entity it is.

Whether you are fortunate to have a living Indigenous culture present or can speak through the history books, spending time looking at First Nations aspects of place is a valuable grounding in the place.

Objectives of the Module

-To understand that there is a depth of, and layering of, meaning and understanding of place.
-To share a method for integrating Indigenous perspectives in the understanding of a site.

Key resources

The materials below are intended to support academics in embracing the materials created to teach the fundamentals of people in place. These should form a basis for you own subject, we suggest customising it with your own case studies and materials. Placemaking is context specific so inserting case studies, images and information from your area will make the content come to life.

Videos (Supporting Material)

Watch the video Kai’ee’magh Georges River (20:10mins). This video is a walk through the Badu Mangroves at Sydney Olympic Park. This video was specifically created for the students enrolled in XXX Sandbox Studio. In this context, it is used as an example of processes applied to engage with First Nations knowledge. Guided through the eyes of Shannon Foster, Sydney D’harawal Knowledge Keeper, speaks to how to listen to Country and the potential of working with First Nations knowledge.