The Truth About Kangaroo: A Conversation with Aunty Ro Mudjin


“The slaughter of Kangaroo, it’s heartbreaking and complex. It can become very overwhelming, so I’ve tried to keep the following information as simple and as informative as possible. The killing itself has spanned from 1960’s to the present day.” – Aunty Ro

Can you speak about the spiritual connection Kangaroos have with the Land? And what is your connection to Kangaroo?

My mob is the Palawa Mob, from Flinders Island, Tasmania.

We hold Kangaroo as Totem, indeed many Indigenous People across Australia hold Kangaroo as Totem, which means that we see them as a Creator Spirit.
In language Kangaroo are known as Tarner, Tarner formed the Rivers, Valleys etc., then morphed from Kangaroo into man and was able to travel to the Mainland. Totem is a natural object, plant or animal that is inherited by members of a Clan, Mob or Family as their spiritual emblem.

Totem defines people’s roles and responsibilities; and their relationships with each other and creation. Kangaroo re-energise Song Lines and Dreaming Tracks across Country, when they bound across this, their Ancestral Home, when their feet thump on this Sacred Earth it sends vibrations through the Valleys, the Plains, the Creeks and Rivers, and everything within and upon them.

The toenails of the Kangaroo leave small holes in the ground which allows seeds that fall into these holes to have a greater chance of germination and any moisture also becomes trapped in the hole giving a huge advantage in the first stages of growth.

Kangaroo are a whole Creator Spirit Of Life on many different levels, they are an essential part of connectivity between us all, because we are all Spiritual Beings and have a spiritual connection to Country and once you start killing and taking these Sacred Totem Animals away from their Sacred Spiritual Land, the Song Lines stop, they don’t sing anymore, there’s no vibrations going through Country so the Song Lines and Dreaming Tracks die, the Dreaming of Country dies as that Spirit Animal is no longer there, all that remains is the blood of the Sacred, staining the dry arid land, with the memories of what once was…the Dreaming on the killing ground now, lays silent.

With this relentless slaughter of Kangaroos and their Joeys, who is there to regenerate Song Lines, Dreaming Tracks? No one, there is no one to create new Valleys, Creeks, Rivers, there is no one there to create new spiritual connectivity between people and Country…it’s been forever taken by the greedy killing.

A lot of Indigenous People who slaughter Kangaroos for the Commercial Kangaroo Killing Industry are seen to have lost their Culture, they have lost Respect and Care for the very animal that has and is still essential to the Dreaming and Dreamtime of Country.

A lot of us, whom I call TRUE Indigenous People, we are not about killing, we are about balance and living with Respect…giving back instead of continually taking.

A lot of trouble starts when people are disconnected from Culture because they don’t see or recognise Totem and the Protocol surrounding Totem, the slaughter of Kangaroo, these people, they see (Kangaroo) as nothing but dollar signs, such is the illness of Colonialism.

We must live in balance otherwise there is destruction and we destroy ourselves, we can’t live by taking, we must give back.

In just over 200 years we have seen huge decimations and extinctions of wildlife, and it continues unabated. Settlement is quick to say we Indigenous People are losers and have no idea. We are constantly ignored by academics, government and those who are non-Indigenous because according to them we aren’t educated as well as they are. I get that attitude constantly when I’m dealing with many farmers and academics who are pro-kill regarding Kangaroos. The illness of colonialism is evident in the mindsets of those who feel the need to control by slaughtering, yet none of our wildlife need to be controlled. They have lived here for millions of years here on their Ancestral Home, never before have Kangaroos faced such ignorant persecution, such hatred as they do now…now, everyday they fight for their survival.

What upsets you the most about the treatment of Kangaroos by humans?

The lack of respect. The lack of understanding as to the importance of Kangaroo as the Creators of this Country, and the need to have them here on this, their Ancestral Home if this Country is going to survive into the future.

The colonialism that surrounds them and fuels their slaughter is sickening.
The colonialism began when the settlers arrived, they saw these primary herbivores as a threat to their future, as a threat to the livelihood of settlement because the Kangaroos like the introduced cattle and sheep…eat grass, and to this very day that exact colonialism continues.

This Colonialism has continued on with many academics being pro-kill, they of course having vested interests with the Kangaroo killing industry, some academics as we recently saw regarding the ACT Kangaroo cull come up with all sorts of “research” to fuel their agenda saying such crazy things as Kangaroos are destroying the environment, that claim recently publicly condemned by the CSIRO.

Kangaroo are Indigenous to this Land, they don’t destroy their own environment, only the stupidity of the Human accommodates that.

Unfortunately today many academics are swayed and influenced by money, many have vested interests in the Kangaroo Killing Industry.

The Kangaroo Killing Industry is an Australian government legislated industry of mass indiscriminate slaughter of which the killing is unmonitored and in which Joeys are bludgeoned to death or decapitated after being torn from their dead or dying mother’s pouch and, if they survive that and escape the killers they will die a slow death of starvation, dehydration or predation. Joeys are regarded as a waste product by the Kangaroo Killing Industry and that makes my blood boil, all of this financed by taxpayer dollars.

The disrespect of Kangaroo by many, the arrogance of not wanting to understand, and dismissing independent facts regarding Kangaroo over academic bullshit is a HUGE and ongoing problem. We have independent conservation biologists, ecologists, wildlife carers with 30 years experience in working with Kangaroos constantly being demonised by academics with vested interests in the slaughter of Kangaroos, and the general public needs to understand this is happening.

The slaughter of Kangaroos is getting out of control and if we don’t stop it, it will be too late.
The disconnect shown by the Kangaroo Killing Industry, academics with vested interests, many farmers, landholders are repugnant and unfortunately they are all in each other’s pockets as Kangaroo are seen as a pest or commodity by them, nothing more and nothing less.

The Kangaroo Killing Industry itself has had no Independent Review in 22 years as it’s a government industry. Could you imagine the meat and livestock industry having no independent review in 22yrs…IMAGINE! Yet this is the case for the Kangaroo Killing Industry and night after night the slaughter continues…unabated, and the very government departments that people think protect our Wildlife like NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, DELWP Victoria, SADEWNR Sth Australia, Qld Environment Dept, WA State Environment Dept, Tasmania Dept Wildlife all support, legislate and profit from the slaughter of Kangaroo. The Northern Territory is the only ‘state’ that doesn’t have a Commercial Kangaroo Killing Industry, and the Federal government sign off on all of it, profit from it and use taxpayer funds to market it it internationally as a sustainable ethical industry.

What is the one thing we can start doing to help Kangaroos?

“Every person can make a massive difference to global conservation, simply do not buy or eat Kangaroo products”– Steve Irwin.

Educate yourself about the Kangaroo Killing Industry in total and beware of the relentless propaganda that surrounds it.

The Kangaroo Killing Industry is mass indiscriminate unmonitored slaughter in which Kangaroo Joeys are bludgeoned to death, that is FACT, despite all the claims that no female Kangaroo are killed Etc Etc all that is, is marketing bullshit, female Kangaroos are still shot even if they are not taken to the processors and left where they are gunned down and remember the National Code Of Practice states that Kangaroo Joeys are to be bludgeoned to death, so if female Kangaroo aren’t killed as some in the Industry claim WHY does the National Code Of Practice exist.

When an Academic comes out and constantly talks about the need to control Kangaroo by killing them, question the WHY, given that Kangaroos have been here for millions of years self regulating their own biological needs and always remember it’s biologically impossible for Kangaroos to overpopulate…that’s the domain of the human.

Kangaroos don’t eat crops, they don’t destroy this their Ancestral Home, they don’t compete with Cattle or Sheep, it’s all Colonialism personified.

Another great way people can find out about Kangaroos is contact your nearest Wildlife Rescue Organisation or Wildlife Rescue Carer and ask to volunteer or join your local Wildlife Rescue Organisation and get to know Kangaroos in person.

The one thing that infuriates me is this constant reference to Kangaroo as a commodity or a resource, that is incredibly offensive, knowing that these people have settled in this Country and then turned around and mass slaughtered Kangaroos, a Sacred Totem Animal is beyond abhorrent…the screams of the Joeys as they are torn from their dead or dying mother’s pouches echoes across the blood saturated landscape, as their tiny heads are bludgeoned as they are swung by their hind legs, their heads smashing into the side of a Ute, a rock, or a tree…this is the slaughter that remains hidden in the night.

By killing the Joeys the killers are wiping out TWO generations of Kangaroos, gunning down entire mobs, which is effectively genocide.

The Kangaroo Killing Industry and affiliates want to make as much money as they can, they don’t care about the carnage they cause, they don’t care about what they leave behind. It’s quite unbelievable when you sit down and think about it.

Final Thoughts.

Kangaroo are Ancient story tellers, Sacred Totem Animals. They are the Creators Of Spiritual Dreaming, and they must be treated with respect.

We really need to look after these amazing animals because if we don’t, the only place we are going to see Kangaroos is going to be in a zoo.

How great is it to take the kids, and family out to see beautiful mobs of Kangaroos bounding across the landscape! One day very soon if we don’t stop the killing, Kangaroos will be no more…when was the last time you saw a beautiful mob of Kangaroos bounding across their Ancestral Home?


You can connect with Aunty Ro via Twitter:  @RoGodwinw67

Photography: Carol Lynn

Kangaroo, the movie, is screening across Australia commencing in March. For details, click here

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