Songlines: The Living Narrative of Our Nation

1 August, 2016

Ray Kelly: A Personal Reflection on NAIDOC 2016

Awabakal man Ray Kelly’s eyes shone when he was asked if he would like to speak about Songlines for OurMob.

As the theme for NAIDOC 2016, “Songlines: The Living Narrative of Our Nation” has helped bring a national perspective to a fundamental part of Aboriginal culture.

Awabakal man Ray Kelly. Image: OurMob

Songlines trace the Dreaming Tracks of Ancestral spirits as they crisscrossed the continent, creating the land, waterways and animals by singing them to life.

Ray Kelly is part of the Pambalong family group within Awabakal, with cultural connections through the Biripi area, up to Dunghutti and Gumbaynggirr Countries.

Ray says NAIDOC 2016 reminds us of the importance of sharing and teaching ancient stories in modern, as well as traditional ways.

Some of Ray’s reflections are below.


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.