World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education
22 – 30 July 2017
On July 22 I flew out of Australia on my first ever international trip, outside of the South Pacific. I was headed to the home of the Maple Leafs and Blue Jays, Toronto, Ontario in Canada. What for you may ask?
I was there to spread the amazing work we have achieved through A•STAR as part of the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education. It was an amazing experience to learn about First Nations people in Canada and I am really grateful to be able to have attended as part of my work with the University of Sydney #WIPCE2017
4-8 August 2017
After returning from an amazing experience in Canada as part of the WIPCE conference I had one day to rest, wash and repack my bag to board yet another couple of flights on my way to Garma Festival.
The University of Sydney sponsored the Youth Forum at this year’s event, which meant my amazing colleagues of WPO and other University of Sydney employees went up there to support the Yothu Yindi Foundation in creating an engaging program for young people who attend Garma.
The first night we arrived, I literally got off the plane and put my feet in the red dirt! As an Aboriginal woman that allowed me to spiritually connect with the ancestors of that place. The next day was massive as I was invited to sit and talk on a panel about my educational journey, from Brewarrina to where I am now. Here’s a little clip of what I said:
The theme for this year was about settling differences, which many in attendance were ready to do! Sadly one week prior to the event, Australia lost one of its most precious musical artists, Dr G Yunupingu. He was still very much a part of the event, and a large eagle could be seen circling around the opening ceremony when his family paid tribute to him through song and Bungul.
For me personally Garma made me proud of who I am, where I come from and where im going. Attending this event, was like throwing fuel on my internal flame that burns so passionately for our people and Aboriginal culture. I was sad to leave that part of Australia, though something tells me I’ll be back there soon enough.
If anyone reading this ever gets the opportunity to attend Garma, please do so and feel proud to live and learn on Yolngu country, it’s a special place!