This NAIDOC Week, Australians are being encouraged to discover the Traditional Country beneath their feet with the launch of Connect to Country. Indigenous creative agency Campfire x and Facebook Australia have partnered to launch the movement to drive awareness amongst all Australians of the culturally significant Country upon which they live and work every day.
The Connect to Country movement invites Australians to better connect with the world’s oldest continuous culture and encourages brands and businesses to embed First Nations culture as an integral part of their physical and digital footprints. Connect to Country spotlights positive storytelling and representation and offers easy ways for everyone to make Indigenous Culture an essential part of everyday life.
Earlier this week, a new campaign video asked all Australians “where are you from?” and encouraged them to discover more about their local First Nations communities, with resources available on the Connect to Country Facebook page. These resources include videos to learn how to acknowledge Country and tips for connecting with their local community and language groups.
In addition, Facebook Australia and Campfire x will launch a pilot series of unique First Nations stories that will be served to Facebook and Instagram users who live in corresponding areas, connecting them with the land they are on. For instance, a video telling the story of the Gamay Rangers who care for the waters of Botany Bay (Gamay) will be served to people in and around the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council area using Facebook’s geo-targeting tools.
The Connect to Country campaign was initiated by Campfire x in partnership with Facebook Australia, community organisations, the Brewarrina Local Aboriginal Land Council, Dubbo Local Aboriginal Land Council, Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council and La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, with creative development by DDB Melbourne. OMD have been instrumental in bringing on two of the first Bunji partner brands, Coles and Telstra.
“There are so many positive stories in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that need to be shared, and stories told by our own people,” said Brad Cooke, Co-Founder of Campfire x. “Our people are too often negatively represented in media and online. By creating a space of respect and positivity via Connect to Country, more people will have the opportunity to find out the stories from the land they live and work on; and be better connected to history, culture and also Indigenous organisations and businesses that are doing amazing things.”
Melissa Kirby, Ngemba Custodian and Brewarrina Local Aboriginal Land Council member shared her thoughts too: “Connect to Country is Country speaking through a group of people. This communal approach does not just mean people tell their stories on Country, it tells us Country is intelligent and alive. It is about knowledge in technology coming out of being embedded in the landscape. Connect to Country is about the entire system of Country, inclusive of people, animals, plants, ocean and river, com-ing together like one big spirit.”
“This project captures local people doing normal everyday things, how they celebrate culture and life through Country. Connect to Country privileges the local narratives and voices of the Ngemba custodians, empowering local talent and traditional knowledge through a digital platform, showing us that there is no beginning and end to a story. Campfire x engaged the community of Brewarrina through extensive consultation through awaiting invitation by the Brewarrina LALC,” Melissa finished.
To learn more, visit: Facebook.com/ConnectToCountry