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Guest Speaker: Uncle Rob Monohan

09 June 2023

Guest Speaker Uncle Rob Monohan Enlightens Year 11 Religion and Society Students on Aboriginal Spirituality

In an effort to foster cultural understanding and appreciation, our Year 11 Religion and Society students were privileged to welcome guest speaker Uncle Rob Monohan, who delivered an engaging and insightful presentation on Aboriginal spirituality. With a vast collection of authentic artefacts at his disposal, some hundreds of years old, Uncle Rob not only educated the students on the cultural and spiritual beliefs of Australia’s Indigenous peoples but also offered a tangible connection to their ancient traditions.
Uncle Rob, began the session by introducing himself and his mob. He then delved into the rich tapestry of Aboriginal spirituality, an integral part of their identity and connection to the land.

One of the highlights of Uncle Rob’s presentation was the array of artefacts he brought with him. These objects were not only visually captivating but also served as gateways to understanding Aboriginal spirituality. Uncle Rob carefully explained the significance and symbolism of each artefact, allowing the students to appreciate the depth and complexity of Aboriginal spiritual beliefs.

Among the artefacts showcased were intricately painted boomerangs, which Uncle Rob explained were not merely tools for hunting but also held spiritual significance. He demonstrated how boomerangs were used for hunting, as well as in rituals and ceremonies as a means of communicating with the spiritual realm. The students were captivated as they learned about the interwoven relationship between the physical and the spiritual in Aboriginal culture.

Uncle Rob also presented an assortment of beautifully painted and carved clap sticks, explaining their important role in Aboriginal ceremonies and storytelling. He demonstrated the sounds produced by this instrument, providing a glimpse into the spiritual dimensions evoked.

In addition to the artefacts, Uncle Rob shared how Bungle the eagle created the land and Waa the crow told them the rules of how to live. He discussed how these stories and Dreamtime narratives are passed down through generations, offering students a window into the rich oral tradition of Aboriginal culture. He explained that these stories not only convey the history and creation of the land but, like with Bungle and Waa, also provide a moral compass, teaching important lessons about respect, harmony, and interconnectedness.

Throughout the presentation, Uncle Rob emphasised the need for cultural sensitivity and understanding when exploring Aboriginal spirituality. He encouraged the students to approach these beliefs with an open mind and respect for the diversity of cultures within Australia.

The impact of Uncle Rob’s presentation on the Year 11 Religion and Society students was profound. The students gained a deeper appreciation for the spiritual significance of Aboriginal artefacts and their connection to the land. They were inspired to reflect on their own spiritual beliefs and the importance of respecting and valuing diverse cultural perspectives.

As the session concluded, the students asked further questions and expressed their gratitude to Uncle Rob for his enlightening and thought-provoking presentation. It was clear that his visit had sparked a curiosity and interest in Aboriginal spirituality, leaving a lasting impression on their understanding of Australia’s Indigenous culture.

By inviting Rob Uncle Rob and his remarkable collection of artefacts, Thomas Carr College has taken a significant step towards fostering cultural understanding and appreciation among its students. The experience will undoubtedly contribute to a more inclusive and respectful learning environment, enriching the students’ understanding of Aboriginal spirituality and encouraging them to embrace diverse cultural perspectives in their future endeavours.

God bless,
Mrs. Cathryn Doman
Learning Area Leader Religious Education