From the Editor
Welcome to the very first issue of Flunk Magazine. Our goal is to produce a high-quality magazine featuring work by students at Southern Cross University. We are passionate about creating something with longevity that can be carried on by future students once the current team moves on. All artwork for this issue was created by Matt Weismantel. We are proud of this collection and the amazing Southern Cross University students who submitted their work. We hope you will continue to do so. We plan to release two online issues this year, and are working on a printed version for the start of next year.
By Manna Hart
As they have for millions of years,
these trees tower.
Tears for all of this that so soon dies.
Softly they are dressed
in damp velvet mosses, liverworts,
festooned with stag-horn epiphytes,
studded with orange slivers of fungi.
Drunken fragrances commingle,
damp earth, leaf litter,
fallen fruit fermenting.
Between tall trunks, vines
interweave a steel-rope lace.
Between dark leaves
glint fragile lines of webs.
Tiny spiders like fire opals hang suspended,
wrap their insect prey in shrouds,
or suck their ichor.
Wompoo gargles his notes in courting,
while Bronze-Wing coos a piping drone.
Woop, woop, woop, woo-ooeeyup, wheeyip!
says the Whip Bird as his wings flap.
Trees open into colonnades
on either side of water running over rounded rocks.
Branches arch into vaults.
From above the canopy of back-lit lime leaves,
the sun’s rays lance the air at forty-five degrees,
land on fern, crimson anemone fungus,
and lapis-lazuli dragonflies
mating in aerial ballet.
Tears fill my eyes,
tears for beauty,
for millions of years of evolution in demise,
for carbon dioxide, methane,
and nitrous oxide skies,
for the Celsius degrees as they rise,
tears for all of this that so soon dies.
GNIBI ELDERS PRINCIPLES
By Sheldon 'SJ' Harrington
Breakdown of the Artwork
The entirety of this artwork is a visual translation showcasing how the Gnibi Elders Priciples are integral to the development of humane and compassionate education at Gnibi, establishing relationships that are beneficial to everyone without disregarding others and their knowledge.
This is the rich pool of knowledge (handprints, dots, circles) that has grown and maintained through millennia and handed down by our ancestors. The knowledge is represented by the water as it is key to the survival of our culture, and not confined to certain shapes or constructs, it is fluid as it moves and moulds to its surrounding but is still connected.
These Binggins hold a dual purpose in this artwork, firstly being that they signify all the Elders past and present as it shows they have grown, lived, and moved through different parts of the rich pool of knowledge. The shells show the protection of all the knowledge. Secondly, the direct correlation to the Gnibi Elders Priciples in the static form; nine Binggings to the nine priciples.
Relationships (Outer Sections)
These outer sections are symbolic to the different relatonships that Gnibi has established over its lifetime, but are still informed by the same “connective tissue” of the Gnibi Elders Principles.
The two distinct set of lines on the outer edges show the strong protective foundations these relationships have formed. The elders are represented and embedded within these sections, as the protectors and knowledge holders.
By Sheldon ‘SJ’ Harrington - SJH Kreations
Commissioned by Gnibi, 2019
THE GNIBI ELDERS PRINCIPLES
1 Indigenous Knowledge is relevant, ethical, intelligent, effective and a useful way of knowing.
2 Indigenous peoples are active, able and worthy peoples.
3 The truth about our histories and value of Indigenous ways are determined by us, we carry this knowledge.
4 Elders hold our Aboriginal spirituality and our culture close. We choose what is open and shared and what will be closed. Aboriginal spirituality is the basis for life, Indigenous education and cultural competency, it infuses everything.
5 Our knowledge is relational. Our principles are the basis for Southern Cross University to establish and sustain an active, informed and respectful relationship with Indigenous Elders who will give considered collective input. The continuance of this relationship through the Elders group is essential.
6 Culture is sacred to us. We are and own this living culture. We do not need a ‘book’. We share with you so that you can learn how to listen and hear what we say.
7 Identity is based upon things [inside] beneath the surface. Empowered, individual, affirmed identity is the basis of positive, productive, healthy and non-destructive lives – opportunities to engage and build knowledge builds strong mob through [inside] learning.*
8 Learning everyday with each other has to be informed and sustained by a politic of open, positive and ethical interactions.
9 We as Elders have presented these things all our lives without being heard – we are often listened to but our message is not heard nor heeded. We take this opportunity to speak in the understanding that you will listen in the right way, hear us and learn.
* [...] denotes culturally significant understandings in English words.
THE BUNDJALUNG ELDERS WHO ADVISE GNIBI COLLEGE AT SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY SHARED THIS LIST OF GUIDING PRINCIPLES IN 2014.
By Matt Weismantel
Lismore From Above
By Elijah Joel
REGIONAL ARTIST PROFILE SERIES
By Eden Crawford