A journey is made of many steps or paddles depending on your mode of travel
Some pass by almost unconsciously as you repeat similar motions through familiar territory
A good rhythm gets your furthest with most efficiency
There are moments that mark significant progress
There are moments that have significant impact on your direction
These moments should summons full consciousness
This is one of these moments
Our Lipalipa (canoe) has its nose in the water and we have pushed off
We have commenced the physical creation from what has previously only been ideas and media
Moments of palpable progress are now coming much more frequently and it feels like a good rhythm
We are ready and we are moving
Djambatj is the yolngu word for the state of being fully focused on what matters
The man standing on the bow, harpoon in hand, waiting for the perfect moment with full awareness
“The eagle is djambatj for the fish” my first Yolngu team teacher, Mr W Wunungmurra, once explained when introducing the concept to the middle years class and to me - his piercing eye sees through the ripples on the surface to what he is seeking.
The fencing is a great place to start as we establish both the space and the work culture within it
Precision of straight lines is critical in a long fence with tensioned wires
It is also critical in a spear, which all Yolngu workers at Mandjawuy make, so it is not a new idea. Ever tried paddling a bent canoe?
Djambatj for the details you are responsible for is a key element of our work culture
This is hard work. The soil is stone and sand so it does not come up with the auger on the back of the tractor. Each hole is completed by hand in the Nth Australian heat while others mix and ferry the concrete by wheel barrow from the mixer.
The mandjawuy crew work hard and consistently and the fence is going up faster than expected
This is harder physical work than will be required in the factory once operational
On Monday 28th May the site office was established and the next day we began physical work for the factory
With the crowd funds for yolngu labour, the materials bought by MEP and the tractor maintained by laynhapuy we cleared a 6-meter fire break around the perimeter
Norla, my old troopy that clocked 450,000 km on this trip, worked like a Trojan removing selected trees.
We had a ‘pre game’ talk of how it really feels to paddle a canoe with rhythm and all contributing, that we are now on the journey and this is serous.
We are not moving as individuals but as a crew in our lipalipa, the Arnhem Beverage Company
We are getting better rhythm and picking up speed
We are moving through the bay and soon will be going into open water
There are specific djambatj roles in erecting the fence
We got the tractor hole digger working and put the four corner posts in exactly where we wanted them.
The fence lines have been set straight but with consideration of which trees we would remove
We have begun on the ground
There is much excitement amidst the crew, not only in expectation of the first pay packet of full time work for a whole crew in the community but even more for participating in this exciting creative act.
These are moments to savour
Thank you to all the supporters who have made this wonderful adventure into our bright future possible