Reflections From the Younger Generation

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Numerous younger people have offered their reflections on Danjoo Koorliny during a feedback panel at the 2021 Danjoo Koorliny Social Impact Summit. The panel took place at the end of day one of the two day summit. Below are some of the reflections shared.

“It's very liberating, It's very healing...I'm very lucky to be sharing this room with you guys. I'm very lucky to be able to see so many people who have made the independent decision to help try and better the world around them. We are all from so many different walks of life, from so many different cultures, and we are here. We decided to be here. We decided to take a time out. Most of us don't have this time, but we're still able to try and get here. It's been really, really important to be able to acknowledge that as such. While I consider myself to be young still, for now, I'm becoming aware of the fact that there are new generations that are coming into this world that we have to look over, that we have to be responsible for eventually. And I feel very safe and nurtured being somebody who was raised by a village. We are people who have been raised by a village, and I can't wait to be the village that raises the next children” (Kobi Morrison).

“I’m just thankful as well that we have the space to come together and chat like this, and that these things are being prioritised. And we can follow in those footsteps and hopefully do everyone proud,” (Daisy Goodwin).

“In one word, I feel really inspired after today. I've had so many beautiful conversations today, and there's a lot to look forward to. And I'm really excited to further some of those discussions. It's always a privilege just to be here and to be able to put some of those conversations onto paintings” (Jade Dolman).

“I've felt incredibly grateful to be surrounded by people who've been doing important work for very, very long amounts of time, or just a lot of it. And it's clear that there's so much effort going into the various, different spaces that are represented in this room today. And it's my deep hope that the conversations that we have are also part of that walk, and will continue, and will plant the seeds for the beautiful tomorrow that hopefully we can make together. So thank you - incredibly grateful and looking forward to being held accountable and held in relationship as we walk together in the future” (Mark Brisbane).

“In one word, I feel really strong. I think I feel this country makes me feel really strong. My family moved here from Sri Lanka about 14 years ago. And I always felt like I had to go back home to do something good in the world. But the work I'm doing now here makes me feel like I'm still doing something good for home. I feel connected to my home. I'm so grateful to be here and to be with you all” (Shenali Perera).

“I feel like I belong to this place, which I haven't always felt, even though I've always grown up here and called this place my home. And I know as a Whadjella whose family have been living on this land for many generations that we have a lot of listening and learning and growing and following to do. And so I'm really ready to do all that listening and learning. I'm ready to be here and care for this place in relationship. And I am very privileged to be in this room, which is full of power, of culture and language and stories and history,” (Zoe Street).

“I think probably the best word for me to describe how I feel when I come to Danjoo Koorliny is replenished, I guess...I'm always so happy to see all my family and connections here. It's replenishing. It's healing. And I just think back about the little seven-year-olds that I work with, and how by taking care of myself I can be the best self for them when I go back and see them,“ (Esther McDowell).

“I guess I just wanted to start by saying how I was feeling when I arrived here this morning. I was very tired. It takes a lot of energy to do the work that we all do in the spaces of creating change. And I guess when we're all out there in the world individually working, it can be very tiring. But we push on. We get up in the morning because we want change. And coming here and being a part of Danjoo Koorliny, I've been a part of this movement for a few years now. And especially today, coming in and seeing so many new faces and so many people that I've connected through previous work that I've done, and seeing you all here just makes me feel so excited for the future because together we actually can create change, and it's easier to do it as a collective,” (Elisha Jacobs-Smith).

“Today has been insane for me. I just came here to listen and find my space and what I can collectively bring to the table and find my voice and contribute with the community. Pop Noel’s moment earlier - that recognition of the importance of stillness and that time to reflect - I think for me, I got quite emotional on the lawn. I'm getting emotional now, but it's been an amazing day. I've met some really amazing people, and I'm really hopeful for the future. And I have so much respect for the Elders in this community, and the work that has gone into this event and everything else behind it,” (Kevin Wilson).

“I actually wrote a speech...no, I didn't. Today was very humbling, a very humbling experience being surrounded by so many influential people. I said today to a number of people, I conduct myself very professionally in my job, in my role. I have a passion for what I do supporting our Aboriginal community, but we can't always be ourselves. And being in a room today with people, and doing the stuff that we did today and talked about, I could be myself. First and foremost, I'm an Aboriginal man...So being able to be myself, be around people that I look up to but also that are family members, and talk to people that are very worried about our situation as Aboriginal people and want to make a change - so for us to sit down and actually talk to people and actually be myself and also be in a professional manner is a very, very humbling experience,” (Wayne Ryder).

“I'd just like to say thank you for having an event like this. When I was younger, I never really had the opportunity to be at events like this, and I'm just really excited to be here and to be part of the journey to 2029” (Amber Ugle-Hayward).

“I'm very grateful to be here with you all. No matter how many degrees I can get at university or how much I learn at TAFE or in a Western society education, it doesn't beat the knowledge and education that I get to learn from my Elders and my own people here in these rooms. So yeah, I'm so happy to be able to come along this year because last year I got tickets for my mum to go, and I got sick of her bragging to me constantly for a whole year about being able to come...I can't wait to see these changes that we've all spoken about today come into action” (Kaya Carson).

“I'm always grateful for the opportunity to come to things like this. I prefer to sit back and listen mainly, because I find that it's good for just learning and hearing all these important things being discussed. So, looking forward to coming back to some more things like this in the future,” (Darcy Garlett).

“The word that I would actually describe for today is deep, deep gratitude - gratitude for all the Elders that are in this space. I feel emotional already...gratitude for the Elders, for our Birdiya, for the Danjoo Koorliny team for setting up and facilitating something where we can actually come together and talk about these really, really important social issues that we're having that potentially will no longer be issues in our future if we all work together and Danjoo Koorliny. So something that I really love about this particular space is it doesn't always focus on the negative. It doesn't always focus on the barriers or the obstacles, or that deficit that we have in our communities, but it talks about the potential. It talks about the richness. It talks about the connection and the love, and how we can actually move together and create something better for everyone,” (Louise O’Reilly).

"My gratitude comes from all the leaders who have stepped up to provide this platform for conversation. Again, echoing what everybody says, it's spaces like this that make you actually want to stand up and be proud. And actually, it's okay to be who I am and to share what I have. And there's a value in that rather than putting my head down and in my head going, 'Should I say this? Should I not say this?' In this space, I have no question - that does not come into my head at all...And being in this space, my body loosens, I feel a lot more relaxed, have a lot more trust. There's faith. We're not worried anymore. This is who we are. This is what we're supposed to be doing. And it's nice to not feel the separation from our workplace as well - to have the workplaces hooked into these events and being able to action stuff that we talk about - not just talk about it in here but actually make that real out there and then come back and test how far we've come together. Let's hold each other accountable and say, ‘Hey, how far have you come since the last time we met?’ And ‘How far have we got to go now?’ And ‘Who should I be talking to?" (Danielle Thurlow).

“One thing I always feel when I come to this event is inspired. It is so great as a young person to be able to be in this room, and to be a part of this movement. And I'm incredibly grateful for this opportunity as well. It's a great networking event. It's a great way to meet so many people and to feel inspired by just how many people want to create change within their own communities and within their own workplaces. Again, I'm grateful, and I always feel inspired. And it's always great that each year this occurs because after each year with all the challenges and things that occur, it's great to come back and to reset and to reflect and to recharge for the next year to come,” (Pidavara Bule-Turner).

“This is my first time at a summit like this, and I've had a great time sharing. Firstly, I would like to thank all the Elders here for leading us and guiding us, especially me while I've been in this country. I'd like to thank the project team for honouring and holding a space for us, and the non-Indigenous people for hearing us,” (Savannah Travia-Dann). #DanjooKoorliny