Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains information of people who have passed.
This week we’ve been asking everyone what NAIDOC means to them. Our incredible brand ambassador and supporter Wiradjuri woman Mima (otherwise known as @mima_cristy) sent through a story about her Nan that she believes is important to share during NAIDOC week.
Mima wearing her Yarn Walu-ma-rra NAIDOC Polo and her Nan dressed up for a NAIDOC luncheon. Courtesy of @mima_cristy, 2021.
“Recently, I was asked what NAIDOC means to me and my family. To me it's about sharing my Nan’s story.
My Nan was born into white privilege in 1942. Her father was a Police Sergeant who had an Aboriginal Tracker whose wife was a Nanny (servant) to my Nan. The pair of them didn’t receive a wage, just flour, sugar and clothing items.
They looked after my Nan with such love and care that when her parents later died, they adopted my Nan and loved her like she was one of their own. My Nan is still extremely close with her tribal sisters today.
My Nan fell in love with an Aboriginal man and like any couple in love they wanted to get married. But instead of this being a happy time in my grandparents lives, my Nan instantly felt the wrath that having coloured skin brought. She was stripped of her rights; was no longer allowed to vote; was no longer allowed to live in certain areas of town (Narrandera) and the list goes on.
They then started a family of their own. My mum is the youngest of my grandparents’ children, yet she was the first to be born with a birth certificate...My Uncle and Aunty had the same rights as a kangaroo.
This has truly taught me that we can’t help who we love...and that love conquers all.
NAIDOC is also a time to reflect on our past, to celebrate our present and to plan for a brighter future, together as one!”
This story is an important reminder of the terrible injustices that took place really not that long ago. Mima’s Nan and her family’s story sends a message of incredible hope, strength and resilience. As Mima says: ‘love conquers all.’