I am a believer in magic, a chaser of the sun and a child of the earth.
I believe that we are defined by who we choose to be in every moment. Not to put pressure on our choices, but instead, highlight our abilities to make certain choices. I am constantly, and consciously choosing to be who I am in every moment.
I am a young & proud Aboriginal woman and sista born on the beautiful island of lutruwita (Tasmania). I was raised in nipaluna (Hobart) with my jurtu (older sister) by our non-indigenous mother. Some say that 3 is a magic number. We have been through a lot together and I’ve come to learn the sacredness of our family bond. We spent a lot of our time together painting or dancing and going on adventures. My childhood was full of love.
Growing up in Tassie was both challenging and one of the biggest influences on my identity. I lived through most of my childhood without other Aboriginal people in my life - my dad was facing his own adversities and moved to Queensland when I was very young. As a child I was confused about the existence of other aboriginal people as I did not get to interact with them.
My mother did try to integrate us into the local community, but there was always a feeling of difference. It was hard for us to connect with others and feel accepted. As a teen I had little motivation to persist in situations I found challenging or daunting. Our father’s absence left many questions about our identity unanswered and I dealt with this by avoiding all conversations about being Aboriginal. I didn’t know who my Indigenous family were, let alone where they were from.
All I ever heard about Aboriginals was negative stereotypes and stigma, which no one bothered to unpack or question, causing me to feel ashamed. I can remember wishing for my eyes to be blue, my nose to be thinner and my skin to be lighter.
After rekindling my relationship with my dad I am proud to say that my mob descend from Pilbara in WA, and this opened up doors for my jurtu and I, giving us the confidence to share our story and establish a sense of belonging with the local mob. I felt within me that I had to earn respect to be trusted and accepted into this community. I admire the resilience of the mob down here and understand the importance of protecting their culture. I am privileged to share this Island with everyone that calls it home. I hope to be an aid in the healing of culture and land at any chance I get. I now feel that I am apart of the community here and I am truly grateful.
I am an Aboriginal Education Worker at a local primary school and high school, I am ridiculously happy to have this opportunity to work in two schools with inspiring young people and colleagues. I see an opportunity to help those who struggle with the same challenges that I had to face growing up here. I leave work feeling empowered, directly seeing and feeling the effect that I have on these students lives, and then observing how they impact my own.
Working within schools makes me feel confident and eager to further my own education and enhances my opportunities for professional development. My occupation has given me the platform to inspire others, as well as my own personal growth. To encourage people to empower themselves and trust their intuition. Within us are all the answers we seek.
After domestic violence impacted my life, I learnt to distance myself from toxic environments and situations. I gained a new perspective of what life can be and this encouraged me to become an optimist. I strive to see beauty in everything. It led me to explore mindfulness and what that can do for us. It taught me that life keeps rolling, the world does not stop for anyone and we need to keep rolling with it. I also had to learn though that the adversities themselves did not define me - I got to define my own life. That was the biggest turning point, choosing to live the life I wanted, a life that I knew I deserved.
My dream is to one day become a badass lawyer. Maybe work in politics. I know that I will be fighting for the rights of others, especially children and those whose voices are silenced by the rules of colonialism. I want to travel to Pilbara to reconnect with my people and country. I hope to make music and dance every day of my life; this is my way of healing the land as well as myself.
I think it is most important to be patient with ourselves and live without too many expectations.
If we all loved ourselves as much as we love other people, we could all avoid serious turmoil.
Photos By Takani Clark
This project was assisted by Bellendena Small Grants and City Of Hobart