Indigenous educator hopes to break down barriers

Indigenous educator hopes to break down barriers

A DESIRE to leave a better world for her children drives indigenous educator and Seville Grove resident Ingrid Cumming to make a difference.

Cumming is a Whadjuk Noongar person who has published a paper with the United Nations and recorded a talk for the TED organisation.

She is dedicated to helping break down the barriers between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Mrs Cumming said she was driven by her desire to make sure her two daughters did not have to deal with the same problems she did growing up.

“When I look into my ten and six year-old’s eyes and I see two amazing, strong, resilient smart little girls, I want to make sure whatever world I leave behind for them is one that encourages them to be the very best they can be to do the same,” she said.

“I want to inspire my young children and the next generation to be the best version of themselves and who they can be and to be comfortable with who they are.”

She said Reconciliation Week, which ran from May 27 to June 3, was important to encourage conversation about working together to improve the country.

“We don’t listen enough to each other; the more we listen to each other, the more we understand each other and the stronger we can move forward together,” she said.

“Listen and try understand something that may not necessarily be our comfort zone, but might have a whole bunch of knowledge embedded within it that we may not have realised because we’re looking at things from our own particular comfort zone.”

Cumming, who recorded an episode for documentary group Stories Out Loud as part of Reconciliation Week, said it was imperative to Australia’s health that’s both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians came together.

“The best way going forward for all Australians is to create a society in Australia which actually does integrate indigenous history and knowledge and principles and culture and to offer our non-indigenous brothers and sisters the opportunity to also connect with that knowledge, which has been sustaining itself for over 60,000 years,” she said.

“If Australia actually did use collaboratively the knowledge system from both worlds, we’d probably be one of the most connected, powerful, strongest economies and societies in the world, because we’re utilising two very strong sources of knowledge which actually encompass and incorporates every Australian’s experience.”

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