Regenerative Songlines Australia

Kenneth McLeod

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  • Kenneth McLeod

Biography :
I am currently principal program curator for the Anthropocene Transition Network Inc.

Over half a century of flirtation with this world I have, at various times, been involved with the creative arts, social change activism, trade union research and education, public policy development, worker and community-owned enterprises, adult and post-secondary education, and community sustainability/resilience consulting.

My spiritual roots are in Yuin country on the NSW Far South Coast and my ancestors were of Scottish and English decent. These days I live on Gadigal country in the inner west of Sydney.

I honour the elders of Indigenous Australia, past, present and emerging. I particularly wish to acknowledge the guidance and inspiration of Yuin elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison who facilitated my reconciliation with this land. I believe that only if guided by the wisdom of the oldest continuous civilisation on this planet can multi-cultural Australia survive the challenges of the Anthropocene.

Personal Statement :
Towards the end of 2009 I realised the life I had been living was over. The stories that animated the social change activism of my generation – the baby boomers – had, for me, run dry. Decades as a peace activist, change strategist, learning facilitator, process consultant, and social entrepreneur had reached a dead-end. For the first time in my experience I had no idea what came next. What could I usefully do or be at this stage of my life? The only way forward seemed to be to break the mould and step into the unknown.

Flashback to Easter 1998: I was one of thirty-four people who undertook a pilgrimage to a creation site on Gulaga, a sacred mountain on the NSW Far South Coast, led by Yuin elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison. The idea of the pilgrimage had come to me on a visit to the area some months before. Sitting late one afternoon on a great granite outcrop above a waterfall on the side of the mountain, I felt a powerful impulse to make a pilgrimage to the sacred site I had been privileged to visit the previous day. Some weeks later I travelled south again to tell Uncle Max of this experience and ask his advice. Yes, he said, we must do this.

The pilgrimage was a seminal experience that showed me the possibility of a deeper connection with this ancient land. In Uncle Max's words, the only reconciliation that really matters is between humans and Mother Earth.

When in 2009 I decided to step into the unknown, it was to Gulaga that I returned. And it was Gulaga that held me through the stages of my personal transition.

The path of transition lay, I discovered, not through control, but through acceptance; not holding on to the familiar, but letting go of the sure; not shoring up defences, but opening to change; not forcing the pace, but dropping to a deeper connection.

The mountain, Gulaga, was and is my point of reference. A physical place of ancient power and a metaphorical window into our collective psyche. Gulaga is a place that calls me, and a presence I carry in my being. Earth's creativity incarnate.

I found my voice again through surrender. By letting go of the angst swirling through the blogosphere and listening more carefully to Earth's steady heartbeat. Not how can we save the planet, but how do we restore our place in the community of life.

Life loves life.