“The sound and the songlines that belong to Country. The living entities — the water, the sky, the land, and the wind. They’re speaking and they’re asking you to pay your respects. And when we pay our respects, we send a huge message to the gas giants, and the state and federal governments, that they are not welcome in Gunditjmara Sea Country. They come only to take, and that is against our lore. We never take more than we need to feed our family and to share that reciprocal relationship.
“The songlines are a big part of who we are as First Nations people. We sing up and we dance up our Country and there’s a very significant reason why we do that. Every living species is connected to the sound and light throughout this Country and right up into the Star Country and the Sky Country. It’s all connected. We use the stars to navigate our Sea Country. Our family clans cared for different parts of this coastline for a very long time.
These Sea Country families, right down to the little zooplanktons and the baby seaweed in the water, they’re all part of these amazing diverse ecosystems that make up the Southern Ocean and part of the Great Southern Reef, which is just as big as the Great Barrier Reef. It’s worth fighting for and it’s worth preserving.
“The ocean has always sustained us and that’s because we have always given back to Country. The seismic blasting is the wrong frequency, and it is damaging. It is a song of death. But our songlines are a song of life and creation. There is a place of belonging for all of you and everyone in that story, to help us care for Country. That’s what people have done for thousands of years.
“We want the gas giants to know, especially the international companies that are coming to carve up and industrialise our coastline, that they need to get out and stay out of Gundjitmara Sea Country. We want the government to put their money where their mouth is and start funding Indigenous-led research and solutions on how to care for Country. Our knowledge systems have worked for thousands of years.
“We ask everyone to walk with us on this journey and stay with us because we’re going to win this fight. We ask that when it’s whale season, we come down here and we make that stand again. We will not stop until they listen to us, until they get out of our Sea Country, and they support us to care for Country properly.”
Stand with Yaraan, Linley and the Southern Ocean Protection Embassy by signing the Citizen’s Protection Declaration.