What have been your greatest challenges?
My greatest challenges are being constantly subjected to harshness when there’s no need for it or not being seen by my abilities because of what others “believe” or think they know about you. I have always been told there is always someone else worse off than you and I constantly try to share something, anything. To impart a bit to help someone else but people don’t always receive what you offer, they see what they believe. I have always stood up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and yet I don’t always stand up for me! I need to stop listening to the inner (negative) voice about me because of all those criticisers have made that voice louder than it should be and I should allow the compassion for others to be for me too.
What legacy do you hope to impart to your children, grandchildren and family?
I have always been raised by my Wiradjuri Elders belief to “leave legacies not empires”. It has never been about self, it has always been about a collective, a community, a family. Somewhere in this giving outward there has been a loss of taking time out or even recognising you/me/I. The sacrifices cannot be at your own expense because your legacy will then become irrelevant as you make yourself obsolete from the picture. In honouring others you always must honour and celebrate who you are – this is not something I have really known because I have always given and not taken. I want my grandson Tailan to be the generation to change the dialogue of what we accept and don’t accept in his world. Our people’s ancient practices cannot include practices that were not of our original traditions.
There are words we normalise such as control, isolation, power and drama. When you enter words like that into our psyche, we forever change our balance. To be pressured into someone else’s view, is pulling those levers on you, rather than you just being – you. Why can’t we use the words such as honour, kindness, acceptance, giving, boundaries, calm and freedom? Isn’t that the way my people have always lived? In harmony with our surroundings instead of expecting our mother earth to owe us – what we think we are entitled to take, just as people can do to each other too.
You reap what you sow and yet so many sow nothing and reap from everyone at the expense of you.
I would like my children to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo, so that my grandson Tailan can start from a reset - back to the centring of what my and his ancestors sacrificed for us, and endured for you, for all of us.
I was told a few years back that I had a hold in my heart, and I tell Tailan that he grew from that missing part of my heart, to bring all his sweetness to life because he is my greatest love.
A legacy of kindness, truth telling, strengthening positive cycles and eliminating negative ones – through love.