I’m originally from One Arm Point Community, traditionally called Ardiyooloon, which has a population about 300, and is nestled by pristine beaches and ancient islands. My tribes are the Bardi Jawi, Mayala and Mangala of coastal and central Kimberley.
My sense of empowerment comes from the history of my home community.
One Arm Point community was founded by traditional elders, who felt obligated to follow their children who were taken from the Sunday Island mission to the nearby town of Derby. Due to the uncertainty of their future, the elders decided to empower each other and began their journey that would take them back to their homeland. Without any welfare assistance, they worked hard to establish Ardiyooloon’s first school, in which the children had to sit under a shady tree by the beach. The school was later upgraded to a tin shack.
Today, One Arm Point is a place of strong cultural ties, resilience and growing independence, with friendly locals and THE BEST SEAFOOD EVER!!! (Yes, we do traditionally hunt turtles in moderation).
I’m currently studying Anatomy and I hope to go on to study Medicine. I believe that by becoming a doctor, it will allow for greater autonomy and independence within in my community, which was what my elders strived for. By becoming the first Aboriginal doctor, not only within my family, but within my community, I will hopefully inspire and encourage the younger generations to step up and take action, because all my hopes and dreams are not my mine alone, they are carried by my people and ancestors, for me.
I do get homesick now and then, but living at UniHall has been a great experience so far and it has such a vibrant and diverse community. I look forward to this year and all the exciting and fun times ahead!
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Kelly Sheppard, Marketing and Communications Officer, University Hall, email@example.com