On Saturday 23rd May 2015, thirty-five people came together at Green's Bush, Main Ridge for the 'Listening to the Land' autumn program.
This was the Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Network's first night time program and began with a Welcome to Country from Aboriginal elder Uncle Lionel Lauch. Uncle Lionel then took the group on a silent walk along Green's Bush stopping along the way to impart his knowledge of Aboriginal plant usage including food, medicines and other technology.
Listening to the Land - Green's Bush Main RidgeLeft: Uncle Lionel Lauch with Didjeridoo
Situated between Arthurs Seat and Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula, Green's Bush is the largest remnant of bushland on the Peninsula. Surrounded by farmland, this island of native forest is a wildlife haven. Peaceful surroundings and the natural beauty of the bush make the area excellent for walking, picnicking and observing nature - from eucalypt forests to fern gullies, heathlands and grasslands.
There is lots of birdlife in Green's Bush - wrens, honeyeaters, parrots and birds of prey such as the black-shouldered Kite and wedge-tailed eagle. In the early morning you can see kangaroos feeding in the open grasslands. Black wallabies prefer the forest and are well camouflaged in the shadows with their darker coat. However, most of the mammals in the park are nocturnal.
As the light fades you can listen for the soft twittering of ringtail possums or sugar gliders. The little forest eptesicus bat makes a higher-pitched call as it searches for insects.
Aboriginal elder Uncle Lionel Lauch imparts his knowledge of Aboriginal plant usage including food, medicines and other technology
Along the walk, in a nearby lake, Uncle Lionel played his didjeridoo whilst the group meditated amongst the sounds of local frogs. All in all, the first night time walk was a great success with many more planned to come.
Listening to the Land is an initiative of the Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Network, seeking to bring people from different faith and cultural backgrounds together to connect or reconnect with the Land and to be moved to care for the Land. For more information see www.mpin.org.au