My mother is my inspiration for many avenues in my life. During my childhood she would tell my brother and I stories that were passed down to her, stories of her childhood and adulthood, birth stories, stories other people told her, and stories about us. She also taught us how to care for animals, plants, and people. She invested time to teach us the importance of having values as well as instilling a moral compass. She taught us how to be compassionate as well as to recognise and celebrate the differences in all of us.
As she passed this to us, I will pass this to my children. This is culture. This is herratige. It links us to our past, it settles us in our present, and it shines a guiding light to our future.
Stories. They link us.
Culture. It grounds us.
Our Australian Indigenous neighbours and friends have stories to share. Morals and values to instil. Many of their stories and language has been lost as we have not learned to live side by side as neighbours. Time has not bridged the gap. How do we begin?
How do we begin any journey?
@place_names_in_addresses started a social media campaign to simply add the original country name in the address field when sending letters. The area I live and work is called Gia Country. So my address looks like this...
Proserpine, QLD 4800
When I saw that @place_names_in_addresses was doing this I was excited to jump onboard, but I didn't know my country name so I contacted a local elder who's contact I found in a online article and asked her this and all sorts of questions. She was brilliant and told me stories that I immediately told my husband and my child.
See? See how this works? Just because you aren't of a certain culture doesn't mean you can't help preserve it. You can pass down stories and heritage from any culture. This helps preserve them.
The sad part of our conversation followed when she told me the Gia language is mostly lost due to the horrors of the past. As there was not a written language it became lost over the years as stories weren't allowed to be passed down and complying with the law was part of survival.
How did we get here?
How do we go forward?
Let's start by recognising the native land we live on. Let's start by practicing storytelling and caring for those around us. Let's pass good traits to our children.
Stories. They link us. Tell yours.