Key points: 

  • There are many inspiring Indigenous stories to be heard 
  • Stories out of Don Dale show that we need support and inspiration more than ever 
  • Spreading inspiration and positivity is more productive than condemnation 

Everyone is different when it comes to where they seek inspiration from, or maybe some are not even looking for inspiration. The latter group may be wondering why they have remained relatively stagnant for most of their lives. They may not know how to be inspired or know how important it is to be open, self-aware and empathetic to different people and their circumstances; and how to apply the lessons from other people to their own lives. 

For me, I’m actively seeking those stories that stir my emotions, resonate with my deepest thoughts and bring me to a place that thinks,’If they can do it, I can do it!’ Those stories are like magic and have been my bursts of energy propelling me along on many occasions. 

I love stories about those who have overcome adversity to achieve something they have set their minds to. Those are the stories that move me internally and physically to keep going until I reach my own goals. I read biographies by Nelson Mandela, Lance Armstrong, Richard Branson and the like and take note of more local stories of achievement through adversity from all kinds of background.I then apply these stories to my own life. I mostly read books that will inspire me, true stories about people who have come from nothing to achieve something, maybe because I have come from nothing also. I have told many people, I didn’t just start from zero, I started from negative zero. I had to make my way up to zero first before I could move beyond it. 

There are many inspiring stories within the Indigenous business and professional sector and I applaud and admire each and every one of them. Whilst sometimes I might not agree with their views, opinions or policies on certain things, I still admire them for getting to where they are. Indigenous people in general are vulnerable to all kinds of adversity and deserve to be admired for their determination and tenacity to succeed; or at least to have a go against all the odds. 

We exist in a time a time when graphic images are shown of Indigenous kids in prison being horribly abused, bringing the whole country to a level of shame and discomfort on an international scale. As an Indigenous Australian, I felt relief that the rest of Australia was just as outraged and disgusted as I was. For all the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent on reconciling our country over many years, it took a graphic few minutes of barbaric treatment of our kids to bring our country together. Now with a Royal Commission on its way, it will go down as an historic moment for Australia. That’s why it troubles me to know that while mainstream Australia was sticking up for us, some of us are knocking each other down. 

I for one, just like I know many of us do, hope that all of those kids in the Don Dale prison and all those Indigenous kids in juvenile prisons around our country will one day break their cycle of adversity,set their minds to their goals, and do everything in their power to achieve them. Just like I did. I will be their biggest admirer, that’s for sure, and hope to one day read their stories of success.