Aboriginal women stepping into their power
By Open Producer Wiriya Sati from Mid North Coast NSW
Rhonda is a descendant of the Gathang and Dunghutti speaking people. She sees a need in her community to bring women from all the different Aboriginal groups together. She has found strength within herself to drive a movement that does just that, and to revive culture through language and practices.
Rhonda is working with three different age groups, representing the different phases of the feminine – young girls, teenage women and older women.
The movement is called Strong Sister, or in Gathang language, Djiyagan Dhanbaan.
The name underpins the concept behind this movement: a woman needs to be a strong sister to herself first, to become a strong sister for other women and a leader in the community.
Some of the ideas behind Strong Sister are to develop nurturing relationships between women in the community and provide a safe space to explore cultural identity.
Rhonda wants to empower women and give them a voice in their community. To work on this, she runs activities, like a day at the beach gathering pipis, that bring together women of all ages and backgrounds, including those who care for Aboriginal children.
Through working together, these women and girls are learning to tell their stories and express themselves through song, music and movement, connecting them to their culture. They are working towards performing their songs in Gathang language for the NAIDOC week mid year.