Patricia Newell-Dunkley


According to Aboriginal belief, all life as it is today – Human, Animal, Bird and Fish, is part of one vast unchanging network of relationships which can be traced to the Great Spirit ancestors of the Dreamtime.

The Dreamtime continues as the “Dreaming” in the spiritual lives of aboriginal people today. The events of the ancient era of creation are enacted in ceremonies and danced in mime form. Song chant incessantly to the accompaniment of the didgeridoo or clap sticks relates the story of events of those early times and brings to the power of the dreaming to bear of life today.



Long ago in the dreamtime, there were no fish, so the people lived on animals, roots and berries. They were all quite content. That is except for Boodi and Yalima: for they want to marry. But the tribe insisted that Yalima marry one of the old men, to look after him. Boodi and Yalima decided to run away, and so they did. Now, to go against the Elders of the tribe is breaking the law, and is punishable by death, so soon the men of the tribe began hunting them.barramundi4

They ran on and on, although they became very tired, they had to keep running. Eventually, they came to the edge of the land, where the water began and they knew that to survive, they would have to fight.barramundi2

With the angry tribe descending on them, they quickly gathered wood, and made as many spears as they could. But the tribesmen were too many, and soon the spears were all gone. Boodi turned to his beloved Yalima and said, “for us to be together forever, we must go into the water to live.” And so they did.

They are still there in the shape of the Barramundi hiding amongst the logs and reeds.


Reproduced with permission from