I’m from Detroit but my spirit home is Sydney.

The boronia really struck me in Aunty Frances’ story — I think of the big blue sky and ocean walks and salt air – and the 5 o’clock breeze of Sydney. I miss living in a city by the ocean. Even if you live inland you can feel the breeze coming off the inlets or the bays or the harbours.

My daughter was born on a regional farm in Victoria. Last night we were walking from Newtown to her home in Stanmore, we were both tuned to the scents; we could smell Lemon Geranium and gum trees—recently I had cooked with Lemon Myrtle on the farm for Christmas Day. My family live in the country, my late-partner and family, my mother in law, introduced me to native flower smells—boronia, wattle, melaleuca, lemon myrtle, flowering gum.

I have worked with indigenous people the entire time I have been living in Australia; I have been embraced by indigenous people, and their culture has informed my sensibility and spirit. They introduced me to the smell of smoking gum leaves, through smoking ceremony and campfires.


boronia, wattle, melaleuca, lemon myrtle, flowering gum.

salt air, ocean breeze, smoking gum leaves, campfire


Aku Kadogo