The ANU mountaineering club acknowledges the Traditional Owners of this land, Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, who are caretakers of this Country on which this club and the ANU reside and operate on. We pay our respects to Country, to custodians, Elders, knowledge-holders and their kin, and we acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia as having strong and continuing connections to land, culture, and Country. We acknowledge that mountaineering and related activities have a colonial history, which has enabled participants to benefit and enjoy these activities based on a history of land being taken without free, prior and informed consent. We acknowledge that First Nations people continue to be sovereign people, and continue to hold knowledge about the environment around us, which has been passed on for thousands of generations. We thank Country for nurturing and holding us.
Practicing social and cultural safety
We acknowledge that for settlers in the ANUMC, there is a lot of unlearning of previously harmful practices to be done. We believe that we can all work towards this goal of better understanding and will actively try to do so in our actions and activities as a club. We also recognise that the situation is ever evolving, and mistakes will be made, but we must be committed to moving forward in the best ways possible with the information available to us. To First Nations members of the club, we hope that we are contributing to working towards a better world in which your voices, knowledges and experiences are heard and platformed. This club policy is hopefully one step that strives towards the recognition of your rights as owners and caretakers of these lands, skies and waters. For those identifying as being a part of marginalized communities in Australia or under the umbrella term BIPOC (Black, Blak, Indigenous, People of Colour), we hope the club each year is making actions and contributions towards a safer and more inclusive environment for you to enjoy the great activities and experiences the club can provide. This is from warm and heartfelt campfire chats, faff that leads to night time descents, to having the opportunity to see and experience beautiful Country. This has been written by someone identifying from this community, and I hope you get to experience the sense of community and many great things each Country in Australia has provided me as a settler.
In regards to general social and cultural safety and wellbeing of the club, everyone is expected to act respectfully to each other at all times and contribute to creating a safe and inclusive space for all peoples, no matter a person’s ability, class, gender, ethnic identity, sexuality, and age. If you have been subjected to discrimination or have witnessed discrimination occurring we encourage you to report it. The following are current options to be contacted:
- Anonymous feedback form here
- Getting in contact with someone on the executive or committee. More information and contacts can be found here.
- Contacting the current Member Protection Information Officer. More information found here.
- Contacting ANU Sport
‘Leave No Trace’
The ANUMC reiterates a ‘leave no trace’ attitude that we must bring with us wherever we go. It is important that we do our best to make sure we are considerate of others, leave as minimal impact as possible, and be respectful to local ethics as much as possible.
Cliffcare from the Victorian Climbing Club has provided great and simple posters regarding this! Please visit their site for more information: https://www.cliffcare.org.au/education-posters.
Other Great sources of information include:
- REI ‘Leave No Trace Climbing Ethics’
- NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Blog’s ‘How to leave no trace’
Feel free to contact us and add resources if you have any good ones!
Club Policy regarding Aboriginal Sacred and Significant Sites
The ANUMC does not condone climbing on sacred and important sites to First Peoples. Australian Federal and States laws are often behind in recognising First People’s law and cultural authority. A lack of Australian laws or restrictions is not a reason for us as a club to be irresponsible in recognising this custodianship. To realize that these places are as important as any mosque, church and significant building to settlers.
Gibraltar Peak in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve has been identified as a sacred site to Ngunnawal peoples, therefore the ANUMC will not hold club trips at this location. If you are made aware, and have the cultural authority to do so, please feel free to share further information you have on important places the club is not yet aware of. We respect, however, that one way of protecting sacred and important sites is by not making details and their location public information, and as a club we will be patient and respectful in dealing with these matters, listening to Indigenous voices first and foremost.
List of key resources
Each member of the club, new, old, intermittent, are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the following key documents and understand that these documents should help guide our practices as recreationists.
- Decolonising Solidarity in the Outdoors by The Affinity Initiative is an extensive spreadsheet that has a number of resources from information sources to guides and instagram accounts to follow. Please take note that there are multiple tabs at the bottom and a guide on the first tab regarding how to navigate the document.
- Inclusive Workplace toolkit by HUE
- More than a word – Reconciliation takes action by Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network (GWRN) in regards to Gariwerd (Grampians National Park) and Dyurrite (Mt Arapiles). Check out the rest of their website for more great resources.
- Budja Budja Aboriginal Co-operative website for information by the Traditional Owners of Gariwerd. They are based in Budja Budja (Halls Gap) in Gariwerd.
- How to support First Nations communities in Australia: resources, donation links and more by NME
- Ed Wensing’s paper “Unfinished business: Truth-telling about Aboriginal land rights and native title in the ACT” 2021, is an extensive paper on the situation of the ACT and land rights.
*Literature and resources specifically identifying sacred and important sites, as well as the wishes of Traditional Owners, are limited. They are limited for a reason. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves on the matter as much as possible and to not burden First Peoples. Please keep this in mind when wanting to obtain more specific information. The matter, especially in the ACT, is complicated! So let's be respectful and patient.