Necessary Work by Bryce Taylor
Necessary Work by Bryce Taylor
I’m now in my fourth week working at the Koorie Youth Council (KYC), and it’s extremely satisfying to be doing the work that I am most passionate about, surrounded by such supportive people. Here is a little bit about what I was doing before coming to Victoria, and why being here is important to me.
In 2015, I was working in the South Australian Community of Dunjiba, as part of a volunteer assignment. Literacy improvement in the school was my primary focus, in addition to various smaller roles, like after school engagement through sport. When you work in community, whether that’s in the city, on the coast, out bush or out in the desert, the work doesn’t finish when the clock does.
Naturally, I have a lot of love for that community to this day, and all the communities that I have been apart of in some way shape or form. I can’t turn a blind eye to the very real and raw issues throughout the country. We need to hold together strong on empowerment. We need to defeat this stigmatising narrative based on deficit language that has made disadvantage inherently tied to our young people’s identities, before they are even born.
That’s why I feel that we have an obligation, to do this necessary work. So in 2018, with the help and support of a solid bloke and researcher named Brad Dalli, we commenced working on a project called MIND that aims to maximise young people’s perception of themselves, through equipping them with tools and techniques to support mental health and wellbeing. Unfortunately for us though, the more success the program garnered, the harder it was to sustain. This was because although the demand was there from the community, the resourcing to sustain longevity wasn’t.
That’s why I am so thankful and appreciative of KYC, who have allowed me to continue the work in this space. Although I am not from Victoria, they identified the passion that I use to drive positive outcomes in a meaningful and strengths based way. Since being here I have learnt a lot about the history of the strong nations that make up this region. In particular, the Gunditjamara and Yorta Yorta people. Nothing resonates with me stronger than whenever Indi says, “We stand on the shoulders of giants”.
It was those before my time, who have beared the brunt of colonisation in its various forms, to allow my generation’s potential to shine through. When I speak and connect with the young ones now, it is my only hope that I, and we, can do the same for them.
Bryce Taylor is a Worimi man, raised on Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi country and the Youth Participation and Development Officer at Koorie Youth Council (KYC). Bryce’s passion is to nurture and care for our young people to pursue their goals and aspirations. He is dedicated to ensuring all young people have the same opportunity to have support, love and culture regardless of where they started from. Bryce has a strong background in education and was a facilitator/owner of a mental health and wellbeing business for young people in communities.