The Long Walk Cultural Exchange

The Long Walk Cultural Exchange

The Long Walk Cultural Exchange between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities aims to encourage the sharing of knowledge between urban and remote communities to promote resilience and cultural renewal, as well as providing professional and economic development opportunities. The program also works for wellbeing by creating a space for cultural practice on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ terms.

Building on Essendon Football Club’s partnership with the Wadeye community, The Long Walk’s first Cultural Exchange involved the coordination of Victorian artists engaged in the Koorie Heritage Trust’s weaving programs and the Wadeye Palngun Wurnangat Women’s Association. The exchange was based on the cultural practices of basket weaving and fibre craft.
The Exchange provided extensive opportunities for senior women to influence school aged girls to return to the school environment while also taking up a number of cultural practices such as weaving baskets.

Coordinator of the Barmah weaving workshop, Denise Morgan-Bulled, explained education was vital in the recognition of traditional cultural practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

“There’s not enough recognition of the cultural practices of women. Often people will see a basket and like it but they can’t see how much work went into it. I think it’s important to educate people about the process. There’s the weaving, but there’s also collecting the materials from the bush, the drying out and preparing before the grass is used.”

The Long Walk’s Cultural Exchange has provided positive outcomes including skills exchange for over 40 women and girls from the Wadeye community and across Victoria, a retail outlet for Palngun Wurnangat baskets and bags, the regeneration of string making across Victorian Aboriginal communities and significantly, school aged girls returning to complete their secondary education while continuing to make bags and string like their grandmothers did.
Visit the Koorie Heritage Trust
Find out more here about Palngun Wurnangat 

Since this initial exchange, exchanges have been held between communiites in Victoria, Northern Territory and South Australia. For more details on each project visit our news area