PWF has received info about two Aboriginal consultants passing on their culture. Our first story is about Ron Murray who this week entertained kids at an inner Melbourne community childcare centre in a ‘fantastic one hour class’ that included Aboriginal stories, tastings of bush tucker, didgeridoo playing and displays of clothing & tools from his family collection….’Really inspiring!’
Ron is currently an Indigenous trainer for Diversity@Work and conducts Aboriginal cultural awareness workshops across a variety of community, government, education (primary, secondary and tertiary levels) and corporate sectors. He also plays the didgeridoo.
Sarah James is a fiddle player and vocalist. With Ron they create a ‘Kinja sound’ which is an ethereal blend of Indigenous Australian and Celtic inspired moods. They feel that Kinja’s music unites their heritage.
Based in central Victoria, Ron and Sarah perform at folk and arts festivals, and in Aboriginal communities. Kinja’s debut album My Home was released in 2004 through Black Market Music. It is a tribute to the survival of Victorian Aboriginal culture. The album suggests ‘if cultures can come together in music, surely we can do it as people?’ Ron and Sarah feel this is a contribution from them to reconciliation.
As an artist, Ron is a well regarded wood sculptor and following in the footsteps of his ancestors he incorporates traditional Victorian Aboriginal line etching in his work.
As well as creating his own artwork, Ron passes on his knowledge to Indigenous young people by teaching wood sculpture as part of the ‘cultural healing’ program he delivers at Melbourne and Malmsbury Youth Justice Centres.
Ron is a descendent of the Wamba Wamba tribe (Swan Hill, Victoria) and the Tatiara tribe (Bordertown, South Australia). His totems are wiran, the red tail black cockatoo on his father’s side and richierook, the willy wagtail on his mother’s side.
Ron grew up in redgum forest country in the traditional lands of the Muthi Muthi people, Balranald NSW. He spent his childhood in the bush on a 240,000 acre sheep and cattle station, by the Murrumbidgee, surrounded by Aboriginal sacred country and sacred sites. He is passionate about his heritage, the environment, and about keeping Aboriginal art and culture alive.
For the past 15 years Ron has worked for Indigenous communities in a variety of roles, always pressing for social justice, and trying to educate the wider non Indigenous community at the same time. He was Aboriginal Advisor to Victoria Police for five years till 2000, and worked for the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service between 1992-95 as client service officer, and then Deputy Manager.