Who am I? Who are you?
Nartarsha is a facilitator and story teller here to give power, magic and medicine from her soul connection.
Nartarsha’s 'Queen Acknowledgements' is a facilitated workshop designed to bring understanding, acceptance, connection to self, Indigenous culture, country and each other. He teachings provides a safe space to be seen, heard and held within your own story and journey to continue to grow by learning, un-learning and immersing in an experience of expression through storytelling, song, language, dance and movement.
Who am I? Who am I? Who am I is the question that I asked myself daily, but it's never a goal of mine to know. It's always a becoming, a discovery, a journey of who I will be today and tomorrow and every day to come. It's like culture ever-evolving, continuing, never-ending of who I am or who I will be.
My name is Nartarsha Bamblett I am a Yorta Yorta, Bangerang, GunaiKurnai, Warlpiri and Wiradjuri woman. I'm an Aboriginal woman. Aboriginal is in my bloodlines. It's in my DNA, It’s my existence, in my presence, in my genes of who I am and who will forever be.
I've come from country, but not really from country. I'm a descendant of both grandmothers that were part of the stolen generation. Therefore I'm a by-product of what it means to live in two worlds. In today's society.
I'm coming to the terms of who I am is being black excellence, black excellence. Meaning I live in a place of the concrete jungle in the systems and the policies of Victoria, but also the cultural and the connections of the deep roots of myself, my culture and my country, and also being raised from, and within the community. I am my mother. I am my father. I am my grandmothers, I, my grandfathers and my sisters. I am my brothers. I am my son. And I am the people before me that I do not see. And I'm the people standing before those that come after me, that I will not see. I am a representation of the past, present, and future, but who I really am is just here.
I’m Kayla. I am a proud Gurindji woman from the Northern Territory, and I live on Bunurong land. My people, the Gurindji people, are activists. We’re known for the Wave Hill Walk-Off, which had Vincent Lingiari — he should be an Australian historian. Vincent Linguari lead people on the Walk-Off, which contributed to Gough Whitlam giving land back to our Country.
Vincent was working on a farm, not getting paid. They were slaves, which is something that is running through my veins. This has always pushed me to challenge social injustice and to always stand up for people who haven’t had a fair go or who aren’t seen as equal.
I am really passionate about promoting equality and social justice, and everything I can do to try and level those playing fields — creating equality, where we can truly reconcile in Australia.
I grew up in a time that there was a separation in my identity and in my belonging. Having this sense of connection, belonging, and purpose growing up in an era that I was ‘the black’ kid, but not black enough. I was, you know, the kid that was good enough to be on the sporting fields but didn't quite fit in because I was black. But I still didn't understand what ‘being black’ meant, ‘being black’ was the magnitude of my DNA of my ancestral lineage. I grew up just knowing what I knew and not knowing what I didn't.
My parents raised me with love, kindness, caring, passion, and always giving (their) all and that I had to work for the things that I'd got in my life and that nothing was given for free. But I always had love. Not understanding that some of the conditioning of how I was being raised, or where I came from, was a very survival mindset and that thriving in the space was actually surviving. That I come from a people that survived something that didn't require surviving, I was angry. I was angry at the systems. I was angry at the stories that I was told. I was angry at the stories that I didn't know. I was angry at this figure of the white man, the white person, Captain Cook. That word made me mad, sad, sick. I grew up in an era that these stories were only told in my home and that when I left my home, anyone that didn't come from my family or my house or my culture or my community, was different. And therefore I had to feel some type of way.
So I was angry. I was angry at a lot of things, but the biggest thing that I was angry at was myself. That I'd had this feeling, this big power inside of me that I didn't know how to use. And it was my voice. I grew up in a space and a time of evolution of the culture, how it evolved, but this gap, this disconnection between the black and the white, the worlds were so far apart. But what I was really angry at was the silence that the world held around who I really was. The silence that my people held about the stories of where we really come from, what had really happened. I knew, but I didn't know.
I knew a feeling inside me of this pain of why I was angry, but I'd never visually seen it. Wasn't until I was older, that I understood why I'm so disconnected from this sense of culture and country, the language, the stories. Growing up, we made fun of ourselves as people to get through. We laughed. We have a sense of personality where humor made us feel connected. Made us feel seen and heard that was created from us and for us. But then angry, if anyone else outside of us had spoken up, I was angry, confused, and I felt misunderstood. I think it was because I didn't quite understand myself.
But then I started to questions and it wasn't until I asked the (right) questions that I got the answers that I was looking for. It taught me how to ask questions of myself. How do I feel? What's alive in me? What do I really want to say? What am I really hearing? And when I could really truly connect to myself from looking for external connection in all these different people; my parents, my siblings, my grandparents, my school, my friends, nothing really seemed to fit, until I connected to myself. It allowed the connection to my culture that was deep, deep in the lineages of where I'd come from. I may not have ever seen it for my own eyes, but in my mind's eye, and my heart and my soul, it was clearer than clear. And then I could connect to the country.
These things, this place, this world that I've been living in all my life, 26 years, that allowed my body, my mind, my heart, and my spirit to truly listen to what the country was telling me. The whispers of the wind, the waves and the sounds of the water and the rivers in the rain, the thunder and the lightning. Even the sun. When it shone on my skin, what would (it) be telling my body? That I knew I was here with more than the people that are on this earth, that I was here with warriors; women, men, children, a community behind me, in front of me, and around me. That was my experience growing up.