Chain Reaction Foundation Ltd

Corroboree: A Valuable Concept for All Time

by Margaret Bell | December 7, 2017

We are approaching year end at Mount Druitt Learning Ground, and now we will be bringing together many of the concepts we have discussed recently as we aim to deepen our understanding of them.

This week, we will be holding our Corroboree; an event which we have been building towards for some time. We have been looking at the importance of personal expression and personal connection. It is in the Corroboree that we will present some of our clear thinking, highly profound pieces of artwork we have been working on.

But what exactly is Corroboree, and why is this concept so critical within twenty-first century Australia? After all, Corroborees have been taking place for thousands of years – long, long before the first European settlers first came to these shores. So, how can it still be relevant today?

The Corroboree Ritual

A Corroboree is a specific form of ritual carried out by Indigenous peoples across the continent. During the ceremony, an interface between humanity and the Dreaming – a period of time which constitutes a major part of Indigenous belief – is created, via the use of singing, dancing, costume, and artistic expression.

Events from the Dreaming – or Dreamtime – are re-enacted, and a strong spiritual bond between the people of this planet and the ecosystems which make up the planet itself, is formed. 

Corroborees and Positive Engagement

A captivating and inspiring concept, for certain, but where does Corroboree fit into today's society? 

Corroboree is principally about connection. Young Australians in particular crave connection. Figures published by in 2015 made for uncomfortable reading. These statistics showed us that young people aged between 15 and 19 were three times more likely to be arrested than any other age group in this country.

These statistics highlighted two ugly sides to Australian society. The first is the perception of teenagers in Australia, and the schism between our younger generations and the rest of the population. Meanwhile, the second relates to the disconnection that so many young Australians feel within their families, local communities and within society as a whole.

A study from the Australian Institute of Criminology seems to support the second point. The study highlights how the positive influence of families and schools are so important and far more likely to prevent offending than punitive measures such as constant criticism and the use of correctional facilities and, ultimately, prisons. Positive environments are simply far more effective in fostering positive engagement and lasting social cohesion in communities.

Viewed in this context, the concept of Corroboree, and the profound engagement it provides with the world and the people around us, becomes a strong educative tool for today. To learn more, or get in touch with the team you can find our contact details here at the website. You can lend a hand in creating positive outcomes for our most valuable natural resources; our young people.

Margaret Bell, AM - Founder and CEO of Chain Reaction Foundation.

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