BLOG: Introducing our new Events & Partnerships Officer!

21.12.20 SHARE

BLOG: Introducing our new Events & Partnerships Officer!

Koorie Youth Council

I belong to the Barkindji nation, the name Barkindji comes from the word barka meaning river and more accurately means belonging to the river. I was raised on Latji Latji Country (Mildura) for 17 years and have called Narrm (Melbourne) home for the past four. This year, I graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Sociology. During those years, I have discovered a new identity and a new community that I now cherish.

In everything I do, I strive to be a voice for First Nations people as we have a unique experience constantly finding ourselves suspended between two worlds. I hope by being one of many voices, I can help promote awareness of the issues facing First Nations young people and communities. While attending the University of Melbourne, I undertook numerous leadership roles. I found that in a lot of these spaces, there was a lack of consideration and lack of knowledge regarding discussions about First Nations people and issues. As a proud Barkindji woman, I have personally faced some of these issues impacting upon First Nations people, especially within the Western education system.

When I was a teenager, I didn’t think university was a possible future direction as it was never something that seemed likely coming from a rural high school that didn’t help build First Nations students’ academic aspirations. I was fortunate enough to be a part of some exceptional programs that were dedicated to helping First Nations students achieve their aspirations. By having year-round support and being connected in with a strong network of First Nations peers, mentors and elders, I was always believed in and provided with the right information to make informed decisions about my future. I am beyond grateful to have had such a great community of First Nations people who have continued to inspire me and hold me accountable to community.

By overcoming these issues and finding my own strength alongside building networks with like-minded First Nations people, I have helped pave a pathway for future students and helped make the changes to outdated systems and processes of thoughts at the University of Melbourne.