One Meat Mob
Who We Are
a note from Billy Jangala
The birth of dhiiyaan was in 2005; based in north Brisbane and seeking to engage with Indigenous people. Since that time, there have been numerous seasons and expressions of this community, yet always with the express desire to become a healthy and whole family.
The Gamilaraay word, dhiiyaan, centres on the concept of belonging to "The One Meat". This concept stems from ancient wisdom laws of kinship and centres on the goal of inter-connectedness.
We are a culturally-diverse group and yet, a common thread for us all has been trauma. Whilst this might be seen by some to be an unusual or even unwise way to identify as a community, it is nonetheless ours.
The effect of this has been a deep desire for us to take the journey of healing and walking with each other towards gabanma-li.
This Gamilaraay-language word means “to heal, to restore and to make whole”. There is a strong link between the healing we desire as a people (for ourselves and others) and the healing of our 40-acre property Bethel.
The significant time we have sacrificed in being present at Bethel has returned tenfold to the transformation and unity we experience as a community. This place has also been a terrific practical expression of hospitality to others, as individuals, families and communities.
dhiiyaan sees itself as a family bonded by deep gratitude for the Warrambul ("the overflow" in Gamilaraay). Underneath (and above!) it all, we believe the Creator is generous, gracious and kind. We wish to be humankind and kind-humans!
We are learning the ancient art of staying - laughing and crying together, having tough conversations, celebrating successes, mourning losses, growing inwardly, and looking outwardly; pilgrims of life and students of love.
Even as these words come out, we realise they are just words. We recognise that orthopraxy (not just orthodoxy) is what we and the world need. In the words of Catherine Liddle, CEO of SNAICC (the national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children):
“What we need is a kinder society.”
We understand that this requires more than thinking kind thoughts; it requires acting kinder to all. So we have committed to trusting love - even in the midst of chaotic and troubling times, unanswered questions, and uncertain responses.
To do this, we look to ancient wisdom, spirituality, and principles. In Gamilaraay, the phrase Binaal Gi-nga means "to be kind". This is our hope and this is our goal.
Maaru yananga ("go well"),
- Billy Jangala -