An experiment with tourism: educating for social and ecological justice in Australia JULIET B E NN ETT A Nd THE N gARR I Nd JERI BEINg HEA Rd
In this chapter the Ngarrindjeri Being Heard, a group of Ngarrindjeri youth, collaborate with Juliet Bennett, a “non-Indigenous” Australian, to explore some of the ways in which tourism projects can contribute to educating for social and ecological justice in Australia. As a researcher of Peace and Conflict Studies, Juliet opens the chapter, introducing the Camp Coorong project and recent changes experienced by the Murray-Darling river system. The chapter proceeds with a transcription of the voices of the Ngarrindjeri Elders and community collected by the Ngarrindjeri Being Heard and presented in their documentary Nukkan.Kungun.Yunnan. Following this powerful statement of concern, Juliet uses narrative inquiry as a methodology to explore connections between the Ngarrindjeri voices and the voices of others who aspire to address global social and ecological challenges. Approaching this topic collaboratively provides an effective way for our cross-cultural perspectives to be shared, in pursuit of our common goals. Tourism projects like Camp Coorong envision a more socially just and ecologically sustainable state of being in our world. Examining the Ngarrindjeri’s deep historic ties to their land and their contemporary struggles offers an enlightening perspective on the connection between peace and humanity’s relationship with their environment. While the most obvious forms of “direct violence” (for example, war or physical abuse) might be resolved in specific human contexts, the hidden forms of violence including “structural violence” (such as poverty) and “cultural violence” (such as racial discrimination), require a more broad and contextualised approach. Johan Galtung (1996, pp. 31-32) distinguishes “negative peace”, the absence of violence, from “positive peace”, which seeks the presence of social justice within our political systems and our culture. While there is no consensus over how to achieve the latter, and what it would look like,
it is the ongoing dialogue that is key (Galtung 1996, p. 14). This chapter offers advocates of peace tourism a cross-cultural insight into the significance of respect for the environment as a key pillar in working toward positive peace.