Announcing ‘Turruk’: Trustbuilding and Cultural Intelligence sessions for all

Wednesday, September 22, 2021


Initiatives of Change Australia launches ‘Turruk’—a series of eight online events bringing First Nations’ traditional knowledge and culture to all Australians. Learn more in this Q&A.

What is ‘Turruk’?

This event series provides an in-depth cultural learning experience, in an online space led by an experienced educator and facilitator. Uncle Shane Charles, a Boon Wurrung and Yorta Yorta man, will lead participants in a series of learning experiences, beginning with a Welcome to Country and a yidaki (didgeridoo) healing ceremony as we enter into the space of the world’s oldest living culture.

‘Turruk’ is a Kulin word, meaning ‘reedy grass’ or ‘weed in lagoon.’ The suburb of Toorak, where IofC’s Australia-Pacific Centre is located, in the vicinity of the Yarra River, takes its name from this word. With this name, we affirm our shared connection to this terrain, our respect for Mother Earth, and acknowledgement of the First Peoples here.

What are the sessions about?

Participants will hear from First Nations community leaders and Elders in ‘truth telling and truth hearing’ sessions highlighting the hidden histories of this land. Participants will learn to apply traditional wisdom and practices in everyday life, including the art of deep listening or dadirri, physical movement, and story sharing.

Part history class, part encounter group, and part hands-on practice and skill building, ‘Turruk’ is also an opportunity to build personal networks with First Nations leaders and allies, and to be empowered to tackle systemic racism in our daily lives.

Eight sessions seem like a lot…can I pick and choose which ones to go to?

You can, but trust us—it’s not too long. Each session is three hours; within that time slot, activities take place in one-and-a-half-hour blocks. These are live, interactive sessions. The morning sessions are public education forums, which are open to anyone who wants to attend. The afternoon sessions are masterclasses that build on the themes covered during the mornings. To enable enough time for participants to ask questions and build their own skills and confidence to apply cultural intelligence, participation in the masterclasses is capped at just 20 spots.

You can see a description of all the ‘Turruk’ sessions here.

Choose which events you want to go to, or sign up for all of them!

Why is IofC Australia offering these events?

IofC’s Trustbuilding Program is working in partnership with First Nations leaders and advisors on initiatives for truth telling and truth hearing. We seek to promote recognition of Australia’s indigenous history, and understanding of its connection to present injustice.

In the Uluru Statement From the Heart, First Nations community leaders invited all Australians to ‘walk with us’ in a movement for a better future. The ‘Turruk’ event series shows how we can take those first steps, by inviting everyone into intimate conversations with First Nations leaders and allies.

Let’s listen and connect.

  • See detailed information about the session content and facilitators, or go straight to bookings.
  • Got a specific question? Write to the project manager, Sarah Narden.