Christina, whose house I'm staying at, first introduced me to Marion Kickett, believing that we were similarly passionate about our work and would get on well and inspire each other. She was certainly right about the Marion inspiring me bit!
And we really did get on well! I told my close friend Mike Liu about our meeting and there were soon three of us plotting and planning. And Sharing Culture soon came into being. It was great, each of us having such a different background, but sharing a passion to help improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal people.
Marion is a Noongar leader, who was working at the Teaching & Learning Centre at Curtin University, has a background in health and education. [She has recently become Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin and been promoted to Professor].
Mike is a filmmaker, who has a background in marketing and advertising, and cares passionately about social justice and the environment. And I am the mixed bag that I am! [Check out My Background]
Not long after meeting Marion, I found a reference to Judy Atkinson and her book Trauma Trails. I ordered the book and was quite simply stunned and very moved by what I read.
I have to confess that I had not really appreciated the impact of historical trauma on Aboriginal people. That situation changed after reading Judy's brilliant book. I was totally inspired and I wanted to learn more. However, there is very little written about historical trauma in Australia, although I leant a lot from the Canadian literature.
It's amazing that I've been here in Australia five years and no one other than Mariohas ever mentioned historical trauma to me. Remember, I am in the addiction and mental health fields, so you would have expected someone to have mentioned it to me. In fact, I would go as far as saying that it is likely that very few people I have met in Australia know anything about historical trauma.
Last Sunday, I had a phone call from Judy Atkinson. Actually, I had many calls, as she was travelling in the bush and kept losing her signal. She chatted for about an hour and there was so much to share. We could have kept talking for hours! I felt that I had met a kindred spirit and I hope Judy feels the same. I know that I can't wait to meet her.
So, there we go. You've been introduced to the two ladies who have inspired me into working in this field. You can read more about them in the two sections I have created on the website - Marion's Story and Judy Atkinson.