Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (7.05 MB)

Country tracking voices: Dharug women’s perspectives on presences, places and practices

Download (7.05 MB)
posted on 2022-03-28, 10:21 authored by Jo Anne Rey
Country Tracking Voices is a thesis that for the first time brings seven Dharug women’s voices to the written scholarship and broader academy. It is centered in the Australian Aboriginal belief that we belong and are obligated to caring for Country as it is the source of all species’ wellbeing and survival. The thesis engages with how seven Dharug custodians are continuing cultural practices, sharing Dharug knowledges and employing Dharug ways of caring, connecting and belonging. When Dharug Country covers the majority of Sydney, Australia, this thesis contributes knowledges for resilience and renewal to benefit all sentient beings. The ways of practicing Dharug culture today are diverse, educational and positive. They include puppetry, the visual arts, singing, dancing, possum-skin work, weaving, story-telling and poetry, as well as through customary ceremonies and practices. Equally the ways of undertaking research are diverse. This thesis challenges customary thesis methodologies by including the influence of other-than-humans in the research process. By recognizing the agency of Country, this research is able to acknowledge participant voices of birds, possums, and sandstone. It also positions the research method as ‘Goanna walking’, de-composes human-centricity and repositions us to the more sustainable place of being only one within a profound web of interconnectivity. What also makes this project unique is that for more than 200 years Dharug people, Country, practices and values have been talked about by others. In this thesis, we talk back. This project is not a representation of all Dharug people. It is instead a beginning. It offers Goanna’s trailing tail in the sand: simply a tale to follow.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Openings as disruptive places and pointers -- Chapter 2. Yarning back to written places on Dharug Nura -- Chapter 3. Ways of doing : practicalities, goanna walking and mapping the landscape -- Chapter 4. An interlude, introducing seven sista’s yarnings - seven lifeworkings -- Chapter 5. Kookaburra’s dreaming – a place of being strong, smart and deadly -- Chapter 6. Wagtail’s witnessing : a place of unceasing business -- Chapter 7. Aunty crow’s yarning – some secret song and dance -- Chapter 8. Rngtail's remembering --Chapter 9. Bushytail possum : a story of belonging, caring and connecting references -- Chapter 10. Sandstone’s country - a place of outlooks and viewpoints -- Chapter 11. Bellbird's becoming -- Chapter 12. Weaving a yarning basket Chapter 13. Yarning the heart -- References -- Appendices.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 353-361

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Educational Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Educational Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Neil Harrison

Additional Supervisor 1

Sandie Suchet-Pearson


Copyright Jo Anne Rey 2018. Copyright disclaimer:




New South Wales


1 online resource (394 pages) colour illustrations, colour portraits, colour maps

Former Identifiers


Usage metrics

    Macquarie University Theses


    Ref. manager