Navigation Menu
This website aims to develop case studies of the development of farming practices and attendant transformations of local ecologies of defined blocks of land. Through these biographies of particular plots of land we are developing localised analyses of the wider historical trends in the political economy/ecology of the Northern Rivers.
Ray Flanagan, Leigh Davidson, Carol Perry & JJ Bruce’s Stories

Ray Flanagan, Leigh Davidson, Carol Perry & JJ Bruce’s Stories

By on Jul 1, 2013 in Dharmananda | 0 comments

Go to: Introductions | Dharmananda: from individual title to a multiple occupancy | WWOOFers | Growing food | Neighbours | Introducing Carol | The early years: creating community | Neighbours | Channon Markets | The Fire Brigade | Generational change and building community | The farm’s history | Bananas | Old roads | Finding a sense of belonging | Mr deSorzi | The Ivans | Back to the early days | Being a local

Finding a sense of belonging

Carol: I know when we found out a lot about the history of the land was when Terania was on and we were – I do remember now because of, maybe not this piece of land but I went into the Northern Star office and I went through a whole lot of back Northern Stars and, especially about the Nightcap… Sorry I’m a bit off the track. You’re asking about this farm weren’t you.

That’s when you started to learn about the whole area’s history?

Carol: The area’s history and the road –  the letters were taken from Lismore to Murwillumbah along the Nightcap trail. Yeah.

Why did you think that was important to research that?

Carol: Because I wrote a massive, a two page article during the campaign to save the forest, we were trying to promote the historical value, the heritage value, the environmental value….

Leigh: Of the forest?

Carol: Of the forest, every value that existed. The tourist value. Yeah.

Did that protest and all that research and the political activity, did that give you a greater sense of belonging to the area?

Carol: I think everyone’s got a different answer to that. I felt a very strong sense of belonging to this land but … a few years ago I was involved in taking people on week-long walks through the bush – here and living in the bush – all around here. And so we’d go right around the Rim and back and up there and stay in the Forest Meditation Centre.

Jo: On your property?

Carol: No, no.

Leigh: Right round the rim of the valley.

Carol: It was about 60 kilometres, over seven days and I got much more sense of connection with a larger area. That’s very recent. I had to stop it because I was getting too old to do it but I got a much better sense by walking it in that way.

JJ: I think in my ten years, also, that I spent next door, I formed my sense of belonging. It was a funny and very real process – an internal sort of process of not really feeling at ease in the valley. It was very internal but over a few years I, you know, I’ve worked through that. I was here and then established that sense of belonging – internally my, my sense of belonging here. Hearing travellers, or friends that have travelled to different parts of the world, say ‘oh this is the best place in the world’ – so it’s re-enforced that feeling of – or nullifying my sense of curiosity about the rest of the world. I never was all that interested in it anyway, but… Yeah it’s nice to hear that ‘this is where it is at’ from other people.

Print Friendly