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Dive into the heart of Kanyini

Kanyini is an ancient philosophy that teaches us the power of connection, responsibility, and the

intrinsic value of caring for all beings and the land that sustains us.

The Four Elements of Kanyini

In order to feel like a whole person, we need to be connected to four elements: our Ngurra (our home), our Walytja
(our family), our Kurunpa (our spirit) and our Tjukurpa (Knowledge of creation or Dreaming). When we are connected
to all of these, we can care and practice responsibility for all of these things and that makes you feel good.


Ngura does not just refer to our home, but wherever we are at any moment in time. Wherever we are, it is our responsibility to get to know that place and to care for it. Many sites throughout Australia are significant or sacred as described by the Tjukurrpa. It is our responsibility to honour those sites with great care.


​Only we can be responsible for our kurunpa, our soul.  It is affected by our thoughts and actions. If it is weakened for example because we have ignored our responsibility towards a family member in need, then that will affect us physically. We feel a sickness of spirit.


Walytja is the Pitjantjatjara word for ‘family’. For us, Walytja is not just our blood family. Aboriginal people have four lines of relationship. One line is their bloodline, another is their ceremonial line – those who undertake ceremony together. Another is their totemic line which connects all people who share the same totem. And lastly, there is the line that links all people who speak the same language. If any of those lines are broken you are weakened, if you are removed from your Walytja you are not whole.


Tjukurrpa is the guide for us to live in harmony with all things. It is the bigger consciousness of something that was and is the way to live.

"Kanyini is the principle of connectedness through caring and responsibility that underpins Aboriginal life."

- Bob Randall


The Kanyini concept helps non-Aboriginal people to think like Aboriginal people. It’s a framework that explains a concept of self and a way of living that has meaning for an Anangu person. Bob's solutions to the whole situation are about care and inclusivity. He would often say, “we have one mother, this land we're living on and taking everything from, is our mother, that makes you and me brothers and sisters”.

Bob's solutions aren't solutions like, “Give me a certain percentage of Uluru’s gate money." It’s not this whitefella framework of money and materialism, it's higher than that.

We can experience a shift in consciousness through listening to our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. They're saying, “Come on. Come think like us." That’s what I think is exciting about these solutions. Now that I’ve spent time with Bob I do think more like an Aboriginal person. I do believe all living things are connected and it feels good to care for our country together and our family, which includes all of us.

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