HOW ARE WE BEING EDUCATED?

One of the highlights of the Adelaide trip was having the opportunity to meet up with Eddie Peters in Mitchell Park through a mutual friend Colleen-Ara Palka Raven Strangways. Immediately it became obvious that my jaw was going to hurt for the rest of the evening as Eddie continued to bring me to tears in laughter.

After dinner we spent the night looking over maps of Eddies homeland the Torres Strait. The stories of growing up on Thursday Island, learning the jobs that each island carried out as part of a wider community and being educated on sacred objects such as the bow and arrow, ceremonial drums and headdress meanings all drew me in to a culture I had previously never been exposed to. Which brought me to my questioning of the system.

Culturally how are we being educated?


A big part of this journey has been the re-education of myself coming from a standard Australian school learning nothing about Aboriginal history let alone knowing of the existence of the Torres Straight people, their identity and culture. Five years ago I was unaware of what the flag meant. Totally shameful to admit to this but it’s the truth.

We blindly swore elegance to the Queen not really understanding how they had come to this country, the violent colonisation techniques employed and the influx of brutality that followed we just had to make sure our uniforms were up to code to avoid retribution.

Eddie Peters travels around the country teaching his culture to other First Nations groups and wider Australia.

Eddie’s cheerful demeanour sets you at ease and the caring and non judgemental attitude exudes from every pore of his body, exemplifying an honest love for country and people, quite the opposite of the treatment that a lot of First Nations people deal with on a day to day basis.

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