When younger, I was travelling and stayed with one of my Aunties for a week or so.
It happened to be in January that year. ‘Bub’ my Aunty said, “We are going to survival day this weekend”. Survival day I thought, what’s that. So I asked, “What’s Survival day Aunt?”. She told me that it’s what most people celebrate as Australia day, but for us it’s about surviving the continual impacts of colonisation.
I listened without speaking, my Aunty a deeply spiritual woman, holding this through her Christianity. I could sense the moral standing within her regarding injustices from mankind to one another, I was also aware of her childhood as a child of the stolen generation. I could see and respected her position.
That evening when laying in bed I found myself reaching deep within. I reflected on my entire life, on my exposures between cultures, between urban and remote environments, on my insights of the lives of my family, and friends who are descendants of the First Peoples of the Land and waters. I had experienced and seen much from a young age.
I clearly understood Survival day, yet within me something else spoke.
It spoke louder than the pain, louder than the frustrations, louder than any Anger….Louder than any fear.
As I lay in my bed, I felt the richness of an inner knowing. Of the knowing that I am born of something so sacred that you cannot remove me from it, whether you see this or not does not change the fact.
Whether you acknowledge this or not does not impact me, for I acknowledge this within myself in every heart beat and in every breath.
I’m aware of the stories of these lands and the interruption that has shaped other ways of living. I’m aware of the inhumane actions, of the discourse imposed as law and order. I’m aware.
Yet, from within my inner knowing that is deeply informed by the land and waters, by all the animals and by the heart beat of my Ancestors; I am more than a survivor! For I was born of something so deeply sacred and intact.
I was born a sacred child of a Dreaming, of a system that holds all life with respect, of a way of being that managed to maintain the balance for thousands of generations. A system that remains intact beyond the noise of the current domination. I felt this understanding through out my entire body, in my heart and in my mind all at once.
That evening I slept deeply and in the morning I wrote a poem called “The Colours of my Heart”.
When my Aunty returned home from being out, I spoke with her of how I could not identify as a survivor, that what I held within me was far too rich, that no matter what had happened to us/me or around us/me I hadn’t forgotten. Nor did I feel anything less than the intelligence and strength of what I was born of.
I read her my poem and said that I would join her at Survival day to be there with her, but I would also share and read my poem on stage.
And that is what I did.
I did not need anyone to acknowledge me.
I did not require someone else’s encouragement or instruction.
Was I nervous? Yes
Did I wonder how I was going to make it happen? Yes, but I followed through on my feeling and life met me halfway to make it happen.
Did it matter if people clapped or patted me on the back? No…
What mattered was listening to the voice within myself and allowing the strength of my Spirit to carry me as I actioned the insight.
That day was an impactful day in my life.
I chose and fulfilled that decision.
Knowing In Nature 2023
My motivation for sharing was due to the recent campaign to adjust the constitution and recognise the voice of the First People – Indigenous – Aboriginal people within it.
For myself, I grew to have no faith in the government from an early age…this didn’t motivate complaining or expecting more from them than they are capable of giving, it motivated me to step up in the world. I learnt that I am capable of creating what is needed. That I have the power to determine my life.
I may not be able to stop a mining company from destroying country by myself, but I sure can choose what I consume. I may not be able to create all the changes required for indig communities to be restored to what they once were, but I can get off the couch and lend a hand to those who are asking for support.
I learnt that I am capable of thinking for myself and no one has control over me, no matter who they think they are. I wipe my own bum, I dress myself, I feed myself I make choices every single day!!!
Now where am I investing my energy and what am I giving power to? It’s definitely not to a bunch of strangers who know nothing about me or my family or my country, at least not at a deep level.
I’d love to think that all who voted yes do more than simply vote. I’d love to think all who voted no do more than simply vote. I’d love to think all who choose not to vote do so with how they show up in the world. I’d love to see everyone stop waiting for some one else to make the change that they believe is needed. We are many, the government is the minority.
I do recognise that many are feeling different things due to the referendum campaign, It would be beautiful if all people no matter your position remembered how capable we all are, we are even more capable when we share our strengths and work together!