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'Natural Selection' - A Poem

At Milk Crate Theatre, we respect and support the #indigenouslivesmatter movement, and the plight towards gaining acknowledgement, respect, and justice for Aboriginal people. Milk Crate Theatre pays respect to the traditional custodians of our land, and to elders past, present and emerging. We are grateful to work and create theatre on land historically owned by the Gadigal and Wangal peoples of the Eora Nation - always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

Continuing our look back on our 2019 work, Natural Order, we would like to pay our respects to our beautiful friend and elder, Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor, who wrote the opening poem for our show. Natural Selection was written to establish the world of our show - the beauty and nature of the land that is immediately stripped away in order to build human-made constructs, that house systems of confusion and powerlessness.

This poem was presented by MCT Developing Artist Darlene Proberts, a proud Wiradjuri woman, and self-acknowledged DIVA! Darlene was also our resident muse, smashing out the cabaret ballad Sit In That Chair at the point of the show where frustrations had risen to an ultimate point of climactic explosion.

[Image Description] A photo from Milk Crate Theatre' 2019 Production 'Natural Order'. Darlene, in a long flowing shirt stands amongst upturned stools, she holds a book in her hands. Behind her in a warn yellow light that illuminates the scene.

Natural Selection by Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor, performed by Darlene Proberts for Milk Crate Theatre's 2019 production of Natural Order.

Through Indigenous eyes the term Natural Selection has the opposite meaning as the European meaning.

Social Darwinism - a 19th Century theory inspired by Darwinism by which the Social Order is accounted as the product of Natural Selection of those persons best suited - (chosen - the chosen ones) to existing living conditions and in accord with which a position of laisez faire is advocated.

The term Natural Selection or the "Survival of the Fittest" as Charles Darwin termed it is viewed through our Cultural and Spiritual beliefs handed down from over 60 thousand years. Through our connection to our Creation Stories of Biami.

We believe that Everything and Everyone is connected. Everyone and Everything (the Animals, insects, trees, flowers, rivers and the Ocean)

We are all important for the Continuation of the environment; the air that we breathe, the water that we all drink.

Grandfather Sun - warms the planet and our bodies. Gives us light Raises the food that Mother Earth births.

Grandmother Moon - moves the water and gives us the woman-time and our Birthing

Father Sky - carries the water and oxygen for us to breathe

Mother Earth - births our Relations Plants and Trees - Everything

Our Relationship to the Land (Aboriginal Spirituality)

Seeing is so important - seeing what the land is telling you

Listening is so important - listening to what the land is telling you

It’s talking to us

The Traditional Knowledge Creation Dreaming

Foods and healing, Spirituality and Relationship to land.

The term 'Natural Selection' means we as humans are here because we were chosen (by our Ancestors) to be here.

We are here to look after - respect and protect - the land, the animals, the water, the sky and each other

We were Naturally Selected to do this





This work is copyrighted by Milk Crate Theatre on behalf of Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor. If you would like to share any of this work please contact us at

Photo by Patrick Boland (2019)

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