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Opening the Story Box

Friday 12th July / presented by James Hall Graeme Watson

Diaries, journals, photo’s - all ways of preserving a memory, a moment, a story in your life.

For indigenous people, story telling is a big part of the culture. And some local Anthropologists have captured some of them.

Anthropos Australis set up The NAIDOC Storybox at the NAIDOC Opening event last week. It offered people the chance to share, record, and preserve their stories.

And we’ve been given the privilege of sharing these stories

The first comes from Charles.

He speaks about growing up in the reserve times and his experiences with the government Native Welfare department.

He discusses some of his proudest moments, and expresses his dreams and concerns for the future, and the cultural importance of people telling their stories.

Could you imagine listening to your parents speak of your early childhood years after they have passed?

Such recordings would be keepsakes as families begin, change and share experiences.

Well for Eva this will be a possibility. Which brings us to our next Storybox.

It comes from Parents Alan and Stacey. They tell the story of their daughter Eva’s first 2 years of life

Colleen speaks about her memories of the 1960’s mission life in WA, travelling to Perth for school and Melbourne for holidays.  Having spent time working in the state government and education, Colleen discusses the importance of oral histories in learning and her hopes for education in Australia.

Clare interviews Joe about growing up in Wagin, memories of family, and the strength of Noongar culture during legislative assimilation policies of his youth.  Joe speaks about the continued strength of Noongar culture, and reminds us to laugh and celebrate in our changing world.

Helen works with the United Nations promoting the Rights of Indigenous peoples and Cat works in Sydney managing digital story collections used in the education and health sectors.  Helen and Cat discuss the importance of oral histories for Aboriginal people, and the broader use of oral histories in education, health, and international human rights.

Grady interviews his partner Kia, who is a successful basketballer, university graduate and business owner who grew up in the east Kimberley.  They speak about Kia’s experience of growing up in Darwin and travelling the world playing basketball while studying.  Kia speaks proudly about her family lineage, connection to country and aspirations for the future.

Delores and Karen tell their individual stories which eventually brought them together as friends.  This oral history shares the strength, pain, challenges and joy of these two women and shows the value of being able to talk about life experiences.  It is an amazing story of how we benefit from supporting each other in the community.

Coral and Fiona share stories of their childhood, experiences of mission life in the 1970’s, and the maintenance of tradition.  They tell of the current struggles for grandmothers in the community, and their aspirations for reconciliation and environmental sustainability in Australia.

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