NAIDOC Week is an annual Australian celebration held each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The theme for NAIDOC Week 2018 is ‘Because of Her, We Can!’, celebrating the significant role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women play in all aspects of the community. NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity to get involved in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
We spoke to QLD Youth Facilitator, Raja, about what NAIDOC Week means to her. As a Kalkadoon and Bwgcolman woman, this year’s theme, ‘Because of Her, We Can!’, is of particular importance to her.
Raja sat down to tell us about what inspires her.
Tell us a bit about you
My name is Raja, my mob is Kalkadoon (Mt Isa) and Bwgcolman (Palm Island). I work at CREATE Foundation as a Youth Facilitator and I work on the Next Step program. My passion and work background is in youth mental health and I am working with Headspace on their National Youth Reference Group. I also did some work with Batyr, that entailed going into high schools and sharing my lived experience of mental health problems.
Tell us about an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander woman who inspires you
The most inspirational Aboriginal woman in my life is Aunty Dawn Daylight!
Why does she inspire you?
She holds so much knowledge and she loves sharing it with me, my brother and friends. I love sitting down with her and spinning a yarn. Aunty Dawn is an amazing person and I am so grateful for the lasting impact she has had on my life.
What makes you feel proud as a young Indigenous woman?
My family and the strong women in it. We have all faced our own issues and yet here we all are, fighting strong and working hard. My nieces and nephews make me feel proud of the family and legacy they represent. The beautiful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community I am a part of, it is full of strong, deadly women, all of whom I look up to.
What is your personal mantra?
“I worked hard and I deserve to be here”