Connecting to Country - Beginner Guide Camping Experience
Join Yilam for an overnight on Country camping experience at Broadford in regional Victoria, about an hour’s drive north of Melbourne (Naarm). This experience is specifically designed to empower beginner campers to feel confident and safe “out bush”. Once the basics are covered you'll participate in specially selected activities designed to teach you how to cultivate your own connection to Country.
What to expect
Your on Country cultural camping experience with Yilam has been specially created by mother and daughter team, Joanne and Kaley. Joanne grew up on Barapa Barapa Country, surrounded by family and culture and spent much of her childhood camping around the area, giving her an ongoing love of being on Country. Like her mum, Kaley is passionate about caring for Country and teaching Aboriginal philosophies for others to experience the feeling of connection to land.
The word 'Yilam' is from the language of the Taungurung Nation - the First Peoples of the rivers and the mountains in the highlands of Victoria - and directly translates to ‘camp’ but with a deeper meaning that also translates to ‘home’ or a place that you love and care for. For thousands of years First Nations People have cared for and managed these lands, carefully cultivating intricate and sophisticated knowledge systems based on the fundamental belief that we are connected to all things.
On this experience, you will gain an increased awareness of Aboriginal People and culture and come away feeling welcome and safe on Country, connected to the land and empowered to take your friends and family camping on more adventures in nature.
Lessons on basics of camping and caring for Country include:
- Equipment needed
- Food / cooking
- Campsite selection
- Fire making / safety
- Set-up / pack-up
- General safety advice
Guided mindfulness activities include:
- Creating your connection to Country
- Guided 'listening to Country' bush walks
All people are welcome including those from the CALD, LGBTIAQ+, disabled, Elder and Youth communities.
What is included
This is an overnight, 24 hour experience operating from Spring to Autumn.
Group size is a maximum of 10 people.
Group bookings of 10 people at $2,500.
- Camping fees
- Meals (1 x dinner, 1 x lunch, 1 x breakfast and a selection of snacks)
- Aboriginal guide
- Provide their own transport to and from the campsite
- Any children in attendance must be accompanied by their legal guardian and are the sole responsibility of said legal guardian.
You'll meet the guides at the pick up point at 11:00am and then head to camp - your experience finishes at 10:30am the following day.
Corner of Goulburn Valley Highway and Greenslopes Road, Trawool, Victoria
What to bring
- Tent (unless purchasing Yilam on Country tent which will be provided to you)
A full list of items that you will need will be provided prior to the trip.
YOUR EXPERIENCE PROVIDER
Yilam provide experiences in nature for Mob and socially conscious campers.
The word 'Yilam' is from the language of the Taungurung Nation - the First Peoples of the rivers and the mountains in the highlands of Victoria.
Pronounced 'yil-um' this word directly translates to 'camp'. However for our people the meaning is much deeper than that. Yilam means 'home' which speaks to our philosophy - we want to teach people to connect with and value nature - to treat Country as if it were their home, because ultimately it is.
Yilam is a family affair, founded by mother and daughter team Joanne and Kaley.
Joanne grew up on Barapa Barapa Country, surrounded by family and culture and spending much of her childhood camping around the area. She credits this time in nature to her ongoing love of being on Country. Joanne raised 7 children strong in culture and, now a grandmother, she passes on her knowledge and connection to Country to her grandchildren as well.
Like her mum, Kaley has a strong connection to Country and is raising two daughters to also be proud and strong in culture. Kaley is passionate about caring for Country and teaching Aboriginal philosophies for connecting to the land. Her background is in policy development and social sciences and she is committed to creating space for all people.
Joanne and Kaley's values underpin everything Yilam stands for expressed in 3 core philosophies:
Caring for Country
At Yilam, caring for Country is at the core of all things we do and we want to share this philosophy with the camping community. Our Connecting to Country experiences are focussed on Aboriginal philosophies around caring for Country. We don't want to contribute to waste so, our 'On Country' range of camping equipment is created with high quality, durable camping equipment made from sustainably sourced materials.
As Aboriginal people we know that exploitation causes severe disadvantage and trauma for generations to come. Here at Yilam we never want to benefit from the exploitation of others. Because of this we've worked with sourcing partners to ensure that our products are made in safe factories and that the people who make them are paid appropriately for their work.
Inclusive and accessible
Here at Yilam we believe that camping is for all people and that all people should be able to connect with Country if they want to. Our Connecting to Country experiences are safe and inclusive spaces to come together no matter your background. We want to empower all people to connect with Country in a respectful and safe way.