I am passionate about my proactive involvement in reconciliation with Indigenous Australians and remote communities. I am motivated by a genuine desire to bridge links with indigenous communities and and Australia’s Aboriginal people, using communication, technology and web-based tools to facilitate this development.
I have gained formalised knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through anthropological studies into Indigenous communities at the University of South Australia, exploring ritual and traditions of Indigenous people and their social context. These subjects were taken as part of my Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication at Curtin University, through Open Universities Australia.
In February 2016 I was successfully appointed as a ‘role model’, facilitating the ARMTour program at NASCA (The National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy). My responsibilities include enhancing life-skills through sport, including communication, leadership and goal-setting. It is the intention of the program to build partnerships between the school and the Community as a whole. The program’s broader objective is to achieve ‘real reconciliation’. I intend to blog about my experience as part of the program.
In August 2015, I attended Richard Trudgen’s, author of Why warriors lie down and die, workshop series titled, ‘Where to from here?’ This workshop series has assisted in developing a contextual background into the contemporary issues faced by the Aboriginal people and their communities. Specifically, the series explores the complexities of language, health and government policy in relation to remote Indigenous communities.
As a member of Medibank’s reconciliation action plan working group (2015 to 2016) I participated in Medibank’s community fund grant giving process, reviewing individual grant submissions, with a focus on the health, wellbeing, dietary and exercise programs targeting Indigenous youth. This process has provided insights into the extensive range of programs currently being offered within Indigenous communities across Australia.
Also as part of this work, I recently attended the Bicycles for humanity voluntary day to Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative. On the trip I sat with Indigenous elder Billy Doolan, who explained his paintings and his concerns about the Australian environment. Billy talked about the story of the Brolga and the relationship to dance and the land.
Brolga is a beautiful dancer, the elder said your going to be punished. The children chant “dance brolga, dance brolga dance”. Billy Doolan
In 2014 I participated in a workshop at Injalak Arts in Gunbalanya, Arnhem Land, experiencing Indigenous culture and community engaging communities with art practice and cultural story telling. As part of the workshop, I gained insight into the binary role art plays in creative expression and story telling within the act of empowerment of Aboriginal people.
My interest seeks to become involved in assisting to facilitate Indigenous arts practice and development. I understand that reconciliation is critical, now more than ever before.