Jade Gordon is a Skill Coach at OzChild who works with young people teaching them to build and develop skills that enable them to engage in everyday prosocial interactions.
What is the best thing about your current role?
Being part of a team that is helping to rebuild families and young people’s lives. Helping them to overcome the challenges in their lives that will enable them to be a family unit again. Having the opportunity to work with such a great group of people and hopefully be able to meet many more on this journey. I love the fact OzChild embraces evidence-based programs, where success is proven to help sustain a positive outcome for these families and young people in reaching their goals.
Where are your Mob from?
My mob is from the South west Queensland. My mother’s tribe is Mandanandanji which is Surat and Roma basin area, my Fathers tribe is Bidjara ranges from Charleville right up to the Carnarvon gorge. Though I was born and breed in Toowoomba, now raising my own family here.
What part of your culture is most important to you?
“Storytelling”. I think it plays a big part of the teaching and learning for our younger generations. Regardless if its teaching them the old ways of our culture or it be teaching them knowledge to grow and nourish within this world. It’s important that storytelling is kept alive, one of the keys to teaching and passing knowledge on about our culture.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your people?
That we are the oldest living race in the world.
What do you think is the key to being able to move toward Reconciliation as a country?
Understanding and effective communication. If non-Indigenous people don’t have a sincere understanding of our people’s values and beliefs, communication becomes a problem. I think if we don’t have those two key qualities then trying to make Reconciliation possible is going to be a lot harder.
Regarding Reconciliation, where would you like to see Australia in 10 years’ time?
I would like to see Indigenous peoples granted a treaty for our country. To have identified positions within our government so that we can be involved in decision making more and help to implement change. To have our languages being taught in schools and our culture being accepted and recognised by all Australians.
The NAIDOC Week theme for 2019 is Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together. What does this mean to you?
To me it means that we our people have a voice and it needs to be heard for the better. Our people’s version of how to work and live side by side. I feel it’s time our people are given our rights and ownership of our land.
2019 is also the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages. How important is language to Aboriginal culture and how important is it to preserve indigenous languages?
It is so very important, being one of many qualities Indigenous people hold to identity. I feel it’s very important that our language is preserved. It needs to be taught to our upcoming generations so they can have another piece of the puzzle to complete our belonging and help us to be a recognised identity in this country.
What will you do to celebrate NAIDOC week?
As a family we engage in the community events that celebrate NAIDOC. I would love to take my children back out onto country, if the opportunity arises.