“Equinor, you are not welcome in our whale country”: Bunna Lawrie, Mirning Elder
10 October 2019
Oil company Equinor is pushing for approval to drill in the Great Australian Bight. We need as many people as possible to stand with me in this fight for our country.
My name is Bunna Lawrie – I’m a Mirning Elder, Whaledreamer, Medicine Man & Songman Musician, Singer Songwriter & Visual Artist.
I was born into the Mirning tribe on the Nullarbor Plains in a small community called Koonibba. The Bunda Cliffs, the Nullabor and the Great Australian Bight – this is my country and part of my DNA.
To Mirning people, and to me, whales are family. Whales tell us how to live, the coming of the seasons. Our special law times are arranged around the comings and goings of whales.
An oil spill in our country would devastate life in the ocean from whales to tiny crustaceans. Can you stand with me against Equinor by watching and sharing my story of Jeedara: the Great White Whale?
The story of Jeedara is more than just a video. This is our Creation story, this is sacred to the Mirning and it is from this story that we know how to live, learn and care for each other and the land.
Now oil company Equinor is pushing for approval to drill in the Bight. We need as many people as possible to stand with me in this fight for our country, to share this story and protect the country that we have protected for tens of thousands of years.
The way I express my culture is through music and painting. I have travelled all over the world sharing my music with my band, Coloured Stone. I’m also passionate about protecting my country and culture, especially my totem, the southern right whale – and I travel for this too.
In my travels, I have passed down the story of Jeedara and my people to many, many future custodians of this world. I have even stood with the young and old people fighting Equinor in Norway and shared this story. Now I’d like to share it with you.
For thousands of years, my people have celebrated the story of Jeedara and kept our Mirning Law and Custom strong. I am proud to be a Mirning, and I’m inspired by my people. Jeedara entrusted us with this land and sea, and we have kept our commitment to him by protecting it.
For our ancestors and for future generations, we will continue to fight for our country until Equinor are gone.
Peace & Love
Mirning Elder, Whaledreamer, Medicine Man & Songman Musician, Singer Songwriter & Visual Artist
I acknowledge and pay my respects to the Elders of the land I am on, past, present and emerging.