I am a proud Kaanju, Gimuy and Kulkalaig (Iama) woman from Central Cape York, Far North Queensland who has the privilege of living, growing, and working on Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung Country for the last ten years.
In August 2023, I joined the Koorie Youth Council (KYC) as the Office Coordinator. I am so proud to be a part of this small but deadly team! I hope to contribute to a future where Young Mob, our families and Communities can thrive and be safe in all aspects of our lives.
My journey to the KYC is no different from all the deadly young Mob we work with and for. I come from a staunch line of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have stood strong in the face of prejudice and discrimination within a system designed to harm our people. Despite these hardships, we continue to show up. My family are a constant reminder that intergenerational resistance, strength and love connects us all and can heal wounds.
As a child, I was lucky to sit with my own Elders. Sitting, learning and listening whilst they and other Community leaders advocated to ensure that our rights to culture, kin and Country were protected. Since I can remember, my sisters and I would be tasked with the responsibility of running cups of tea and biscuits to our Elders at Land Council meetings. From small kid days, I saw the importance of young people being present and active in these spaces. An important time for us, as we were slowly learning how to hold space and create space for others. A place where we were learning how to listen and connect our stories.
This was our training ground. Our Training Grounds moved between our grandparent’s kitchen tables, yarns around the camp and our cultural hubs. This exposure has instilled a passion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Protection for Country, Youth Advocacy and Cultural governance. I am grateful, that as a guest on this Country, I can continue to learn.
I often think about my Ol’ People and the impact they had on me. In my own ways, I am learning how to embody their strength through my work. I am so excited to contribute to this important work where First Nations young people can be unapologetically Blak, Strong and Deadly.
I have been fortunate to work a number of years at the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO). As well as, holding different roles with headspace National, Yalari and Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS). Prior to this, I worked as an Early Years Educator (0-4YRS) in my hometown. What I have learnt through my work is that all our Communities benefit when young Mob are provided meaningful opportunities to sit around the table and contribute. I am grateful to work in a team that makes space for young Mobs lived-experience and reality to be acknowledged and recognised.