Transcript for
A story from Community

Runtime 00:43:28
Released 25/5/20

Narrator Welcome to the Emerging Minds podcast.

Dana Shen [00:00:11] This podcast is part of a series called Listening to the stories of healing that explores the many diverse stories of First Nations peoples. We will look at the many diverse experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and how these narratives have shaped the amazing work that is happening in the First Nations communities across Australia. Here at Emerging Minds, we like to call it the Secret Garden. The stories and experiences that non-Aboriginal people don’t always get to see or hear. Whilst these stories include sadness and hurts and sometimes can feel uncomfortable to listen to, it is through listening to these narratives that you will get a glimpse of the deep wisdom, knowledge and healing practices of families and communities, and understand why our First Nations peoples are the oldest continuing culture in the world.

Raukkan is an Australian Aboriginal community situated on the south eastern shore of Lake Alexandrina in the locality of Narrung, eighty kilometres south east of Adelaide. Situated on the lands of the Ngarrindjeri people, it is the birthplace of David Unaipon, the inventor and author whose image, along with a Mission Church of Raukkun, appears on the $50 note. It was originally established as Point McLeay Mission, but was handed back to the Ngarrindjeri people and renamed Raukkun in 1982.

[00:01:33] Hello, this is Dana Shen, an Aboriginal cultural consultant working with Emerging Minds. Today, this story is particularly important to me as I’m a descendant of the Ngarrindjeri nation, and these are my elders and community leaders. Uncle Clyde and Rigney and Aunty Rose Rigney. Thanks so much Uncle Clyde and Aunty Rose, for joining me. I wondered if you’d be happy to start talking firstly about your history with Raukkan.

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:01:59] I was born in Raukkan in 1958, which tells you my age, and I started school at Raukkan and in the early sixties we we left Raukkan, dad had work, but yeah. So those formative years were really memorable times as a child, but also a difficult time. So I’ve got lots of memories about Raukkan.

Aunty Rose Rigney [00:02:26] My connection here is that my parents and my grandparents and so on came from here. Majority of them are Ngarrindjeri and so (have) always been in this space. I didn’t grow up here myself. We were one of the assimilated families, so I actually grew up away from community, but still connected to community, not too far away. I’m probably what would be considered an older part of, eldership in Raukkan. And we came back here to live about eleven years ago, married one of the one of the boys from Raukkan and we’ve been together for quite a while. And he spent most of his life on and off of Raukkan, he was born on Raukkan. Yeah, and we’ve been involved in leadership on Raukkan all the time myself, more in a volunteer capacity and now ended up being the chairperson of Raukkan, I don’t know how that came about but there you go. I won’t say how old I am, but I’m the mother of four children and grandmother of four grandchildren, so. And they’ve all grown up and moved on as well, so that’s good. I suppose you’d call us empty nesters, which is a good place to be. I enjoy that space at the moment. So, yeah, I’m the oldest sister in a family of eight. So I guess I feel like I’ve always sort of had a position of leadership in a way.

Dana Shen [00:04:05] Uncle, we’re sitting in a really beautiful place right now. Could you describe where we are?

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:04:11] Yeah, we’re sitting in one of our farmhouses, Raukkan Community Council’s farmhouses that we have turned into a retreat. It is an accommodation for about twelve people. It’s an old farmhouse that we have been able to fix up and we got some funding through the Stolen Generations Repat Fund.

And so it’s been able to help people come back and be on community and, you know, and we’ve worked with people coming back from Victoria or Adelaide or, you know, New South Wales, people coming back to community. And so it’s been a wonderful opportunity for us just to support people on their journey of discovery about who they are.

And it’s quite emotive. It’s very powerful. It’s really good to see people realise that they belong. And you can’t you know, you can’t pay for that. And that’s been some of the, some of the things that have happened in this place this year, just you know, four or five groups have come. And so it’s been wonderful to help people.

Dana Shen [00:05:20] It’s so important that you’re able to do this kind of work, Unc. Aunty and uncle, what’s it been like growing up for you? You know, particularly in the early years?

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:05:32] Well, I guess for me when I look back, I recognise that I didn’t know it then, but I know it now. But I always wondered why things were so difficult in our community, watching community really struggle with change. And I didn’t truly understand the change, but it was, it was all the changes that was happening around assimilation and I’m a child of the fifties, and so although the late fifties, I was pretty much right in the middle of now families can begin to think about moving up communities and they have a greater opportunity around work. And obviously at that time now people in the community could partake of alcohol, and so Raukkan became a very… quickly a very dysfunctional community with alcoholism, domestic violence. So I’m a child, I’m a child of domestic violence, but the whole community, I’d say ninety-five per cent of the community, you know, became locked into drinking. Drinking to get drunk. But I didn’t know at the time, but it is really… people who had no transition, no education, no. What people did have was a hundred and seventy-nine years of not being able to do what everyone else was doing.

And so all of a sudden, they could drink alcohol. But most people drank alcohol to drink away the sorrows of their past. But I didn’t know that as a child, I just saw the outworkings of it where men who weren’t the bosses of their own, so not really the providers and the protectors that they wanted to be. That was a decision made by other people. So a lot of those men, quite broken men, broken-spirited men. But now all of a sudden, I mean, I reckon sixty-seven people could have a voice and have the same opportunities as everyone else in mainstream Australia or a lot of people thought, you know, it’s only the right thing that they should have a vote and a voice. But there’s lots of other things that came with it. Yet mainstream Australia’s never, never understood. And I don’t think still today don’t understand.

Aunty Rose Rigney [00:08:08] When I look back now, we used to have visits to Aboriginal affairs in Adelaide, when whenever mum and dad needed things, we’d make the train ride down to Adelaide and go to see Mrs Angus, who was running the show at the time to get permission to have things. We’d get visits every now and then from her, which I didn’t know about until I was probably in my 40s when when my brother happened to mention it one day about when Mrs Angus would send a message to say she was coming, mum would automatically plan a cleaning day and and so we’d all have to help clean up before Mrs angus came. Which interestingly enough, we still do today. Whenever we have visitors, the whole eight of us, we clean up.

So my kids’ joke is, “mum, Mrs Angus isn’t coming.” But yeah, that’s something, that’s really affected us is the cleanliness and the almost obsessive of feeling like you’re always being watched, and you’re always being judged. And sadly, I can see it with some of my kids. So I’m hoping to to deal with that so that it doesn’t become something I pass on because it’s something that I notice. That’s just, it’s obsessive in my family. In a way. It was a good little place to grow up. It was more of a farming community. We went to an area school, which meant kids were coming in from other farms around the place. And we seem to get on pretty good. I only ever remember one incident where someone called me Blackie and he got the cane. So I don’t think I knew or understood anything about racism back then. And we had, we were in a caring community. So people were always dropping off, you know, homemade biscuits or clothes or things like that. But I never understood it to be because we were Aboriginal. I just thought we grew up in a great community. Yeah. So we were supported in a way. We used to come back to Raukkan every now and then for holidays, but there was still a superintendent living on the hill. So we had to go through that process of going and asking permission to be there. And the last superintendent I remember there, I realised, couldn’t have been very old because when my two eldest grew up and started to go to high school, they will go in high school with his eldest son. So things start to come together like, wow, it couldn’t have been that old. And managing a community where, where my father had to get permission to come visit family from a place where he grew up. And then if that person didn’t give you permission and you had to turn around and go home. Otherwise you could be dead, could have been arrested. So, yeah, but they’re things are realise now. I didn’t really know it then.

Dana Shen [00:11:40] Thanks, Aunt. Uncle Clyde, what are the things or, what is it taken for the community to move forward.

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:11:47] I think it took twenty years for people to come to terms with broken, the community was. The community was fully engulfed in alcoholism and dealing with the workings of domestic violence and just everything that comes when you’re dealing with the brokenness of people. And I think as social, emotional wellbeing, you know, the depth of that, no one really understands until you’re, until you grow up on a isolated community where you would never have any, you have no say, you know, the rules driven by a system and not individuals and communities as such. I mean, there are some things where people could have a conversation, but in essence, the community was quite controlled, and people felt that. And I, I think when people started dropping like flies, dying of alcoholism, dying of violence, women and families broken apart because of violence, I think after twenty years, twenty-five years, and now all of a sudden, we’re in the 1980s, people were making different choices and saying, no, we don’t want that. And so I think, you know, it took a couple decades to come through that and work through that and even get to a point where people understood that that’s not what they wanted. And look, there was a small group of people in community that the grandmas and some of the families that made decisions, strong decisions like, you know, men, I guess were told by their partners, you know, it’s alcohol or me. But, you know, you got to understand, this was happening all around the country and we were just another community going through the same things.

Dana Shen [00:13:53] Yes, I suppose there are a lot of communities that are still coming to terms with this. What do you think are the things that have really supported that change?

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:14:03] I think, you know, the people that were sober were the people, people that went into leadership. And it’s like anything, you know, if you’ve got strong, courageous leadership, people having the courage to stand up against what’s not right. And that’s difficult on a community when everyone’s, everyone’s connected, everyone’s related. And so you’ve got people making really strong decisions about this is not the direction that we want to go. And so, you know, you have Raukkan Community Council that you know, made decisions about, no this is, you know, we’re not going to have people walking around the community with alcohol openly, you know, and this, you know, we want a community that’s safe. And today that’s what we have, we have a quite a safe community and there is no open container. So people want to take part and having alcohol, they can do that in their lounge room or in their kitchen in the privacy of their own home, basically. But, you know, not that there’s, by law or anything like that, but it’s just what community have said. And so I think all these years later, it’s a very different looking community. It’s not to say that there’s not still issues and there’s some people that have more problems and others, but it’s not to the degree that it was, but it came at a great cost.

Dana Shen [00:15:29] The community has been through so much. What do you think are the strengths, those cultural strengths that have supported this as well?

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:15:37] When people realise who they are, I mean, you know, like assimilation was a traumatic time for a lot of community. My mother was a Stolen Generation person. Everyone in our community is impacted by it. There’s that many people that were broken apart, and so then you have people because they’re in institutions, they don’t know how to be maternal or don’t know how to be fathers. I mean, that’s you know, you’re going to have generational problems because of that. And this place where we’re sitting today is about that, you know, about a retreat where people can come back and reconnect and be part of community and have an opportunity to speak with people and understand what’s happened to us because it’s happened to all of us. No one in community actually can say I’m not impacted. We are all impacted. And because of that, people are making more of an effort now to talk about things like our identity, who we are, what’s actually happened to us, trying to make sense of it all. Because if we can’t look at our history and make sense of that, we really don’t need to go forward.

So that’s been one of the things that we’re wanting to do. We’re doing it with men that are coming back to community, women that are coming back to the community because they just want to reconnect. They’re wanting to make sense of what’s happened to us. And it’s only now. And I’m a man in my sixties making sense of my life right now. So it’s, it’s a good community to to do that now.

Dana Shen [00:17:17] Thanks, Uncle Clyde. Aunty Rose, you were talking about the importance of family and connection to culture and how the kids are surrounded by family. Could you talk a little bit more about the importance of extended family?

Aunty Rose Rigney [00:17:32] Well, there’s always been that importance. I mean, that’s the structure of Ngarrindjeri and all other groups around Australia of that, that being very important. You know, that’s that’s the foundation that’s part of the framework of culture for Aboriginal people, as is the elders and the leaders and the women and, you know, just just family of knowing that that’s your family are in this place here that we’re sitting in. This is here because it’s a place that families can come back to and reconnect and find their roots and learn about. Well, they, because they they’ve been part of Stolen Generation and taken away from that. So this place is important. But then Raukkan is important because it’s a place where people that are connected to Ngarrindjeri can come home. Raukkan actually means ancient gathering place. So it’s still that place of gathering and connecting to family and finding out, you know, the people that that you’re connected to. And we we do that quite a bit because even today you’ve still got, we still get phone calls from people. My hubby got a email just yesterday from a woman who’s trying to reconnect with her family. And all she had was a couple of names which, funnily enough, ended up in his family. So 2019, we’re still getting those people that are saying, I think I’m connected to them, and this is my family name. And, you know, is there anyone there with the information about that?

Dana Shen [00:19:24] Thanks, Aunt. Uncle Clyde, if you were trying to explain to a non-Aboriginal person, the connection and the importance of the connection to country to help in the healing process, how would you describe it?

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:19:37] Well, I’d describe it like every, everyone has a place they call home. Everyone has, you know, and everyone feels really comfortable in a place where they know they belong. But when you haven’t got that or when you don’t know where that is and when no one will tell you where it is, that’s really difficult to walk around and wherever you might be walking around and feel that you haven’t got a place that you can call home.

I mean that, that is the worst possible thing that we can do to our fellow human being. You know, to, to say that we’re all Aussies and we live in the lucky country. And she’ll be right, mate. Well, that’s not the case for everyone. And so it’s you know, that is what we’re trying to do in this place. You know, we’re trying to create a place that people can call home for a little bit and they can find that they may not belong here, per se, but they belong somewhere. And so this journey helps them begin their personal journey. And that’s what, and that’s what we try to do here.

Dana Shen [00:20:44] Uncle, I wondered if you could talk about self-determination and why it’s so important for Aboriginal people to have control of their own decisions.

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:20:53] Look, everybody that lives in a free country should have the right to determine their own pathway in life. I mean, we would all say in this room today, that’s a given, but it hasn’t always been that. And it still isn’t that for lots of Indigenous organisations and communities like ours. You know, there’s always people that think that they know better or they know what’s in their best interest. But people have being shaped to believe that. So I don’t blame a lot of non-Indigenous peoples for feeling that, oh they’re only trying to help and it’s all good intention.

They’ve been shaped to actually believe that we’ve needed them, but that’s not the truth. The truth is Indigenous people lived in this country for thousands of years and got on pretty well and survived and were agriculturalists and farmers and land managers. Agriculturalists knew how to build, construct. Indigenous peoples were very organised and social structure. We had our governance. We call it Tendi, and it helped manage many clan groups within the Ngarrindjeri nation. So for others to come along and suggest that we needed them, well, I think there was other things at play and we could go into all the politics about that. But people really need to search at the shared history of our country to really understand what one group has decided that they would do to another group and one group would give themselves a superior position in that. And I think that’s what’s happened to Indigenous Australia. We’ve been seen as being inferior, and so it helps those that consider themselves to be superior, to justify many behaviours in our history.

Dana Shen [00:22:58] As you’re talking, Uncle, you’re bringing up so many complex issues. I wondered how you would describe if someone was coming into a service or program, and they’re working with somebody who has complex issues, they might have AOD or be working with somebody experiencing family violence or something like that. What would you say that workers might not be seeing in that presentation?

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:23:22] Oh, well, I mean, they’re obviously not seeing where those issues come from. People don’t wake up one day and make a decision to be a drug user. Something’s driven that, something’s motivated that person in such a way where they’re not valuing themselves, not seeing their sense of worth. So there’s a big backstory to any form of substance misuse in the lives of people.

So my suggestion would be for workers to, to the best that they can, get a lot of back story, you know, try to understand where people come from historically because you’re not just dealing with one person, you’re dealing with a whole community. And so that all of community could be really helpful, but also talk to other practitioners, talk to Indigenous workers that work in that same field, try to get a regional perspective as well, because there are other workers within the region that understand particular families and have a better issue on that family. Try to understand what is it that’s been happening to, to these individuals and for how long. What has been the things that we think have been things that have impacted or changed a person’s lifestyle from a very young age? You know, whether we’re, whether we’re looking at childhood into adolescence, into young adulthood. There’s a story there and there’s, there’s already a journey being taken by this person so there are ways, but you have to be again, be prepared to be relational and intimate in community and you have to be genuine about that. People will see really quickly if you care or you don’t. If it’s just about doing a job, people are not going to divulge everything when it’s just about you doing your job. But if you truly care, people will see that as well.

Dana Shen [00:25:24] Yes, Uncle, I really agree. It’s so much about the willingness that workers are to truly care for people, to truly make that connection. Thanks, Unc. Aunty Rose, what would be some of your advice for workers in working with communities?

Aunty Rose Rigney [00:25:41] Listen first. I mean, it’s a big deal for I think for Aboriginal people to go into a service, but they, I think they go there because they’re looking for some help. So just listening at first. And if it’s an ongoing thing, have a look at what you’re going to learn from them, because I think you will. Even if you’re a qualified social worker or I think there’s lots to learn through that hands-on experience. And it’s not necessarily by the book. I think going with some of your own intuition and ask Aboriginal people who are working in possibly your departments or if there’s someone they’d recommend or books they’d recommend. So if you’re really genuine about it, then Google it, or research somehow and find out. Most people don’t know an Aboriginal person or haven’t got an Aboriginal friend. But find them, go to Aboriginal functions, NAIDOC or Reconciliation Week or have a look at what your departments, whether they’ve got reconciliation agreements or. And read them. So, you know, if you want to work with Aboriginal people and you don’t know about them, then find out because really in this day and age, I don’t know if it’s a good excuse. If you didn’t learn it, if you went to uni and you don’t feel like you had a good enough experience and search it out, because not only will you become a better worker, you’ll become a better person for it. I mean, for a lot of us, we’ve actually got to reconcile those things. I know I have for myself, I couldn’t work with non-Aboriginal people if I hadn’t worked on my own stuff or I would have been a very nasty person to work with had I just stuck to being angry because I found out the history. But if we can do those things, so can anybody else. And we become a better nation for it and we’re able to offer people better help. So if you’re truly wanting to help, then the thing I would say would (be) equip yourself to be able to do that. And not from just one side of the story, because that’s what we’ve been living off of for generations. One side of the story, and there’s actually a whole big story over here that’s been so well hidden. It’s scary. And so finding out those things and offering the service that those families are really looking for when they come in. Yes, I think that’s what I’d encourage you to do. Come visit Raukkan and do a tour. They’re great tours and it’s talking about what we can do together, because that’s where we’re going.

Dana Shen [00:28:44] What do you think, Uncle Clyde?

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:28:47] I think that you know, communities like ours are continuing on a journey. We loved the idea of working with others that are like-minded, but pretty much gone are the days where we have a expectation that people come and do things to us or for us. But, you know, we want people to become a little bit more mature and try to understand where we’ve all come from. I don’t think many people know it. And so some people roll into a community thinking they’ve got all the answers, but find out really quickly that they don’t because we’ve never really had the relationship that we should have had from the beginning. So there’s there’s lots to talk about. So I think courage groups that come in and individuals that come in, come in prepared to learn from each other.

Dana Shen [00:29:40] So given that important thinking that’s required in working with community, I wonder if you could give an example of when a program or a service has been respectful. What were the things that they did that made them respectful or made them easy to work with?

Aunty Rose Rigney [00:29:57] We have a group that comes in fairly regularly. It’s a program called Jarwun that came out of… I originated from Cape York and Noel Pearson. They’ve obviously done a lot of work over the years and they send support workers from corporate Australia into communities to see… we say what we’re looking for and then they try and match a person to us for six weeks. And the majority of them have worked well. I think we only had a mishap, but I don’t think it was the right person. But they actually, they’re trained to just come in and sit and listen and watch and then do what they do and make sure that that’s meeting the need of community.

So I suppose basically don’t come in and… This this was a saying that came to me when when we first moved down here, it was like people have to stop coming in and doing things for us or to us, like we’re actually in a place now where you can come in and do things with us because we’ve asked you to. If we haven’t asked you to, don’t do it, because then you’re just going back to doing things for us and to us, and we’ve had that done for generations, and it really needs to stop, you know, whatever you’re coming in for because… And it’s respecting the intelligence that we’ve got and respecting us as people, because regardless of what anybody says, we are human beings, which may seem like a silly thing to say, but for generations we have not been seen as even human.

And I don’t think a lot of that was done even at the beginning. Like, just sit down for a moment and find out who we are. Find out who that family is. What have they been through? You know, what if it’s a mum, then what’s she been through? And what is she asking for?

And really listen, because, you know, in some communities, they came in and built houses because it was, “oh they need houses.” And the community said, “but that’s not what we want, it’s not what we’re asking for.” If they’re asking for a concrete slab with a roof over the top, then give them that. You think they need a house because that’s what you need. But, you know, like, it’s, we’re at a time now where we’ve got to really listen. And that’s not so easy. But you can get there because if we’ve changed over all these generations, then other cultures and systems can change. If you listen and listen to us talking and listen what we’re really saying. And I mean, you know, it’s hard because it’s work. But if you really, if you really want to help people, then stop and listen. Use the skills and abilities, and if you’re not the right person, then pass it on to someone who is. And that doesn’t say anything about you. But, you know, amongst certain teams, there’s got to be people in there that are just, almost like you’re born to do this. You know, one thing I think Aboriginal people have learnt over the over our lifetime is who’s genuine and who’s not. They don’t come back then they didn’t find what they were looking for. It may be a hard thing, but, yeah, we’ve got to start somewhere because to me personally, I hate seeing a lot of government money wasted because of systems that don’t work. You know, like, put your money in to where it really helps. We’ve got a small amount of money to renovate this place and we came in and did it. We employed one white guy but you know, like he was really a sort of a handyman man, but he knew people from Raukkan, not that he has full on relationships, but he just, he was that sort of person that just fit and we knew that he fitted, but we also knew he could do tiling and painting and stuff like that. So he was the right person and we chose him.

Dana Shen [00:34:31] Thanks, Aunt. Uncle Clyde and Aunty Rose. You talked a bit about the service delivery. I wonder now, what’s your view about what a respectful practitioner looks like?

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:34:43] We have a worker that has been working with us for a couple of years in the partnership and she’s lived in the area for decades, has been involved in education. And one of the things that she does when she works with us is that she’s taken the time to build relationships where she actually understands the community, where she’s spending not only days here but coming and be involved in activities that might be in the evenings. So seeing people in life, seeing people do life. And so, you know, it doesn’t take much to really find out what people are like, but you have to give time to it. And so if you think you’re going to be a drive-in, drive-out type of support person, that doesn’t really work well, especially if it’s just between the hours of 9 to 5 and maybe twice a week, you’re not going to learn much. And so you actually have to give time to build a relationship. Relationship is the key.

And so we’ve got a worker that we’ve had a partnership with now that has spent weekends throughout the week in the evenings with youth and getting to know the young people, getting to know the leadership, getting to know individuals within that community, having a coffee in the coffee shop with people, you know, asking questions, you know, walking around, having a look at, you know, what the possible projects and that could be. But working with the community, listening intently to what people are saying they’re wanting to do, being part of helping community project what that might look like. But spending the time to be, I would say, be a worker but be a person that is intimate in wanting to find out what all these relationships look like.

Aunty Rose Rigney [00:36:47] I think just being real and and listening and trying to acknowledged the other people that are around you. And then sometimes changing your way of thinking and working because you think I think what they’re saying is probably a better way to do it, if that makes sense. But from my point of view, if you think you know everything and you come in to save us, I’m probably not gonna invite you in, but we can do that now. We have a freedom that we’re able to do that. I mean, maybe not so much with government, but I think there’s some things we’re learning about ourselves and who we are and how competent we are, and we’ve always been and the problem hasn’t been that we didn’t see it, the problem is that they haven’t seen it. But to me, that doesn’t matter, I’m gonna go on and do what I do anyway. So it’s possibly a better time now in our life together, we talk a lot on Raukkan about doing the future together. But as much as we’ve changed who we are, then there’s got to be a whole lot of other change that happens.

And somehow, we’re working that out together. Kids do it and then we teach them as they get older. There’s a better way to do it. I’m not sure about that.

Dana Shen [00:38:17] Thanks, Aunty and Uncle. I now wondered if we could finish, Uncle Clyde, with you talking a bit about what your vision is for the community. What do you hope for?

Uncle Clyde Rigney [00:38:29] I think within our community, we have people that are like-minded. We’re wanting to get on and develop our community. We’re wanting to create opportunities around young people in our community that they’d be strong, young leaders that are very clear about who they are, where they belong, where they come from and where they’re going to go in the future. And so that can only happen if they’re supported well. And so we think, you know, we think we’re at the beginning. So, you know, some significant change. But it takes hard work, it takes lots of time and energy, goodwill. Our indigenous communities, like many indigenous communities, as much as mainstream society think heaps of money is poured into Aboriginal communities, that’s not true. We get very little funding to manage our community, and so we have to find ways and we have volunteers and we have people that put long hours in and we’ll never get a financial return on that. But people do it because they care about their community and where they’re going to, you know, where the next generation is going to end up.

And so I think I think we’ve got a wonderful leadership group at the moment. And, you know, we have to tick the boxes around governance and all those things that the system suggests that we should be doing. But we also need to be doing things for ourselves in a cultural way and being honest and being true to ourselves as well. So, I mean, you know, we’re straddling both cultures, really. I just think it would look like where opportunities that have come about and being realised, now we have people that have a quality of life, very clear about who they are, where they belong. And now they benefit each other and now they benefit and contribute to their community and their broader community.

I think you’ll find that Indigenous Australia are very, very welcoming people. And I think we’ve learnt that, we’ve learnt what it’s been like to be on the other side of that. And so I think we’ve learnt that, if you’re (inaudible) then it doesn’t have to be that way. It doesn’t have to be mean spirited, it doesn’t have to be where you isolate groups of people and you oppress groups of people. I think if it could be the very opposite to that and create opportunities and bring about wellbeing in the lives of others who might be different, but that’s okay. It’s alright to be different. And I think that’s what we’re learning more and more in this country, that the whole world is different. And the sooner we wake up and realise that there’s so much more we could be doing with each other and for each other and to each other. If we just may recognise that we’re all part of mankind, you know, we all are human. And for Indigenous Australia, we’ve only had fifty years to make sense of this journey. And that’s why we are just making sense of it right now. So we’re a bit behind the eight ball but we’re, you know, thirty years down the track we think we can see there could be and there’s lots of opportunity that we could have. But we’ve got to where we you know, we’re saying to other service providers and that, you know, we don’t want you to do it for us. We want to do it ourselves, but we really need to sit down and and really talk these things out and be really clear about why we’re doing it, where we’re doing it and how we will do it. Us as Indigenous peoples, you know, the days are gone when people actually believe that we can’t do things. We are very capable.

Dana Shen [00:42:40] Thank you so much, Uncle Clyde and Aunty Rose, for sharing today and your hope and vision for Ngarrindjeri people.

Thank you for joining us in our podcast series, Listening to stories of healing.

Narrator Visit our website at to access a range of resources to assist your practice. Brought to you by the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health, led by Emerging Minds. The National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health under the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program.

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