Melbourne interactive experience explores connection to country

Melbourne interactive experience explores connection to country

A new augmented reality experience presents Indigenous knowledge and connection to place in and around St Kilda.

Players can explore places around the City of Port Phillip through new eyes in an urban adventure that combines art, augmented reality, music and storytelling.

Using a smartphone and set of headphones, players can take a self-guided journey through streets, walking trails and beachside to discover digital artworks and the neighbourhood’s rich Indigenous histories as part of the 64 Ways of Being App. 

Two young people aim their phones at an abstract computer-generated image while standing on a beach. Players can explore the St Kilda area with new eyes in an adventure that combines art, augmented reality, music and storytelling. Source: Kit Edwards

The Indigenous-led cross-cultural walking and listening experience is part of Yulendj Kummargi (Rising Knowledge Project) that weaves together Boon Wurrung knowledge about caring for Country and western tools for regenerative living and working.

N’arweet Carolyn, pioneering cultural ambassador traversing two worlds – simultaneously indigenous custodian and urban citizen – shared her deep knowledge of place for the project. 

“I’ve become interested in urban play as a way of connecting knowledge to place again. Augmented reality is a tool to give a voice to living country, healing country,” said Briggs.  

“It’s about memory, language, and waterways and connecting people back to these. To bring people back to the lived experience, connection with place. Land is a living entity. Water is the lifeblood.”   

Artworks created in collaboration with artist Jarra Karalinar and musician Allara Briggs-Pattison are interwoven with N'arweet's stories, knowledge and reflections on the Yalukit Willam clan of the Boon Wurrung. 

“I developed traditional Kulin patterns through the lens of Blak Futurism, exploring my lived experiences growing up in Melbourne and living on country surrounded by culture with knowledge passed down through my family and Elders,” said Steel. 

“Being able to place contemporary cultural visual language directly into the urban landscape through augmented reality is a powerful way to reclaim space and belonging through visual storytelling.’

Someone wearing headphones wanders through natural bushland. A blurred figure wearing headphones is in the background also. All players need is a pair of headphones and a smartphone to enjoy the augmented reality experience. Source: Kit Edwards

Dr Troy Innocent, lead game designer of the experience, said the project allowed him to gain a better understanding of connecting knowledge to place. 

“This collaboration has allowed me to share my knowledge and experience in game design and to work more intensively with N’arweet and learn from her expertise and experience in connecting knowledge to place – her way of being in the world is always contextual, situated and locative,” said Innocent.  

“I see this as a learning experience and an opportunity for knowledge translation, a way of sharing Boon Wurrung knowledge through a place-based experience.”

The journey is live now and begins at the Ngargee Tree in St Kilda.  

Download the experience and learn more on the 64 Ways of Being website


Story: Nick Adams

25 November 2022


  • Indigenous
  • Arts and culture

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.