The seeds of Rod Cameron and Maria Rosa’s collaboration began when she attended a concert of The Red Land Club in Perth in 1976. She encouraged her students at the then Tardun Special Aboriginal School to express themselves creatively within their love for composing music while simultaneously improving their literacy skills. Maria bought the Red Land book of Rod's poetry at the Perth Red Land Club concert and used its content to scaffold her Tardun students' efforts. Rod's simple yet profound words provided a window of affirmation in English of some of their culture's concepts.
In 1991, Rod wrote:
Human life is lived in two dimensions.
One out-stretches to the long horizons
While the other gives us fellowship with the stars,
One is secular and the other is sacred.
The secular and the sacred need each other
We leave our footprints on the crimson earth
And light our little campfires in the night
But our human spirit cannot be contained.
It leaps beyond the canopy of stars.
The human soul is a citizen of the Universe.
Rod also commented that, after thirty years of listening and working with peoples of Indigenous descent, his opinion is that we can be truly enriched through their interpretation of the human experience (January 15, 1989). Rod, recipient of a Master of Science degree, came to his understandings via a scientific approach. He worked for many years at St Augustine’s College, Brookvale, a suburb of Sydney.
On August 23, 1989, together with speakers of Indigenous descent, students from Mount St Bernard, Herberton, singers and dancers from Mossman and Kuranda, Rod addressed “The Eternal Now” at the Civic Centre, Florence St, Cairns (see Cairns Post 12/8/89). In many other appearances across the country, he expounded on the meaning of The Dreaming born out of his dialogue with many people of Australian Indigenous descent. He wrote that the “Red Land” is Australia.