"As an Aboriginal person it is important for me to explain where I am from and how I am connected. This is something that we as Aboriginal people do throughout this great country of ours. It is important for other Aboriginal people to know where you are from and how you are connected or linked."
“Our Aboriginality is something we are proud of, not in a verbal sense, but in a lived way. It’s a good place to be.” Franchesca Cubillo
This is my story as a Noongar, an Aboriginal person from the south west of Western Australia. My story is about my Aboriginality ‘in a lived way’.
As an Aboriginal person it is important for me to explain where I am from and how I am connected. This is something that we as Aboriginal people do throughout this great country of ours. It is important for other Aboriginal people to know where you are from and how you are connected or linked. Therefore, it is important to me that people accessing the Sharing Culture website understand my background.
My Story should help the reader understand why I became interested in the topic of resilience in Aboriginal people, which formed the basis of my PhD research. It should also provide some answers to the questions that have been asked of me throughout my working life:
My Story finishes by addressing the concerns of many Aboriginal people who state that: Aboriginal people are unable to live in two cultures successfully.
Many Aboriginal people find it difficult to adapt to a western way of life. They try to hold on to what they believe is the Aboriginal way of life. There are others who are unable to bring their Aboriginal way of doing things with them, they find it difficult to remain within and stay involved in the Aboriginal community. Therefore, many state it is too difficult to live in two cultures successfully. You are either Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal.
To talk about my Aboriginality, I must first start with my Dreaming. I say Dreaming rather than Dreamtime. Why? Because the word Dreamtime gives the impression that it is finite. Whereas the word Dreaming has a continuum. It is not a set period but continues with me throughout my life. My Dreaming is the past, present and future and it includes everything.
My Story will unfold through eight important headings:
Professor Marion Kickett is a Noongar leader from the Balardong language group, born in York, Western Australia. After working as a nurse, she has lectured in Aboriginal health and culture for the past eighteen years. Marion is the new Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University in Perth. She is also a founding member of Sharing Culture.
Marion's Story is taken from her PhD thesis, 'Examination of how a culturally-appropriate definition of resilience affects the physical and mental health of Aboriginal people'. On the basis of this research, Marion developed an Aboriginal Resiliency Framework, which provides a means of facilitating a culturally safe and respectful strategy for building resilience within Aboriginal people.