As unrest continues in the United States, once again we are reminded of the similar issue of Aboriginal deaths whilst in custody in Australia. Sadly, Indigenous Australians are more likely to be jailed than the non-Indigenous population particularly when it comes to youths. Yet this is only the start of the list of disadvantages, unfortunately it goes on….
Over the past few days, messages have circulated on social media and news outlets about how we can support the Aboriginal Lives Matter campaign. If you are keen to help, it’s suggested that you donate or get involved by joining various groups, some of which are outlined in this ABC article. Yet the other way is to educate yourself.
For me today that meant not googling all the heartbreaking stories that exist, but re-reading about all the incredible learnings I gained three years ago from my time working in Kununurra at the Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre. Although this is a slightly different topic for me than usual, it feels right to share this now given what’s happening in our world at present.
Prior to arriving in the East Kimberley, I hand on heart admitted (rather ashamedly) that I had very little understanding of Aboriginal culture. Like anywhere around the World, understanding a community’s culture is critical when engaging with the locals. So whilst in Kununurra, I asked lots of questions of the residents, who were more than happy to answer them.
I will try and cover what I learnt about Aboriginal culture below (keeping in mind that these insights have mostly come from the Miriwoong Gajerrong mob so it may differ from other groups)…
Women’s / Men’s business
You’re probably thinking, like me, that Aboriginal culture is pretty profound and beautiful isn’t it?! It’s a shame that upon colonisation, this was not realised by our ancestors, as sadly we can only imagine what our society might look like today if they had…
Hopefully this post has provided you with some more insights on a topic that you may not have known much about before, and helped make you more proud of our Indigenous people. We all need to educate ourselves further, and I think we should look at all the stories to help us learn.
For more information about the key issues facing Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley and other areas, you can watch this excellent five minute clip. As well as looking at the other resources listed here or by having a read of this anti-racism for beginners resource list.
And you can read more about my time in the Kimberley via this blog.