We Play, We Learn, We Belong by Banok Rind

05.08.19 SHARE

We Play, We Learn, We Belong by Banok Rind

Koorie Youth Council

This year’s theme for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is We play, We Learn and We Belong; we play on our land, we learn from our ancestors and we belong with our communities.

Banok Rind talking at the Koorie Youth SummitAs a Yamatji Badimaya muyu (young girl/child) growing up in WA, I have grown up hearing stories of my people and how far we have come. I have grown up seeing our Elders using guruma (bush medicines) to heal us, our families and our community. This is where my journey, love and passion for our people’s health and wellbeing began.

I am a Registered Nurse, the Deputy Executive Officer at the Koorie Youth Council and currently studying a Master’s in Public Health at Melbourne University. Apart of my journey, I have gained experience in delivering cultural safety to health professionals, teaching Indigenous Health across universities and delivering workshops in Aboriginal leadership, mentoring and health wellbeing across the country.

I have grown up seeing family member’s ill. I have grown up seeing preventable illnesses in my family turn into chronic illnesses but amongst all the illness and disease, our ways of healing and our special ways of caring for one another collectively has always outweighed the sad memories of illness and disease.

The strength, resilience and the great power my people, our knowledge and our strength has always been alive and present within me.

With this year’s deadly theme for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s day, I would like to share a message to our muyu’s & buwa’s (children/young girls/young boys).

You are a part of the longest living culture in the world.

You will never stop learning, so my muyu’s and buwa’s keep your heads held high and pass on what you have learnt to the next generation.

You are the growing future of emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders.

You are the growing future of resilience, strength and courage. Remember that, instill that within you and know that we are all protecting you, watching over you and will always be sending jalajala (good spirits) from our spirits to yours.

Our ancestors and trailblazers have imprinted their footprints on this beautiful land that has more than 60,000 years worth of strong traditions and culture that is well and truly alive today.

So whilst we are grieving loss in our communities, dealing with our own hardships, we are also celebrating.

We celebrate the growth, we celebrate the knowledge and we celebrate who we are as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We take care of our children, we learn from our children and we belong with our children as we are still here, still proud and still strong.