Connecting to your culture and identity

07 Jul 2019
Connection to country, for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, relates to all aspects of existence.

Culture, spirituality, language, lore, family and identity all play a major role on a daily basis.

“My culture and identity are so much more than the words culture and identity.” Bianca, a Yawaru Karajarri woman from Broome, says.

“It’s knowing my language, knowing my lore, knowing my culture, knowing my songlines; my connectedness to my country.” 

Bianca has been fortunate to learn about her culture and identity from a young age. Finding strength with the support from her family especially when she's experiencing difficulties.

"Culture and identity can be a constant source of strength. Whether you’re going through a rough patch or feeling at the top of your game".

Bianca Graham portrait
“For me, it’s so much more than the words: it’s the meaning of who I am. It’s important to be authentic and not lose that cultural foundation. We should always keep our cultural foundation because it is who we are, and we should be proud of.”
- Bianca Graham

Connecting with Culture

"It’s important to overcome feelings of disconnection from your culture and identity". "Remembering your own story is the most important thing". Maddy Wall from Ipswich, Queensland says.

“I’ve been disconnected from my culture, and I’d like to try to find where I’m from, so I can learn more about my culture side of things.”

If you would like to find out more about who you are and where you’re from, there are resources out there to help you.

You can reach out to organisations and services and get involved in local events that will help you meet your local community.

NAIDOC week held on 7 -14 July annually and it is a great time of year to put yourself out there. you can also get involved by volunteering and giving back to the community.

It is a life long journey for all to connecting with Culture and Country so don’t get disheartened if you feel like you are not connected right now.

“It’s very important you be yourself and not to take upon yourself what other people think.”
- Maddy Wall

Accessing support

“There’s no shame in seeking help from services that are here to help us,” Bianca says. 

“We’re lucky that we have services that are set up to provide that support. Utilising services like headspace can help you handle situations in a safe environment. There’s no shame in seeking help.”

While feeling connected or disconnected to your culture can have an impact on your life, how you feel presently does not have to be how you well always feel. 

Celebrating who you are as a young person and learning about who you are and where you're from is a journey you can start whenever you are ready.

Talk to your family, elder or a community member and you can always reach out to your local headspace centre.