If someone else believes you have the capacity to do something, I’ve learnt that 9 times out of 10 you probably do have the capacity to do it. So we don’t need validation from other people. What we need is validation from ourselves.
I’m delighted to welcome Dr Anita Heiss to Sparta Chicks Radio this week
Anita is a proud member of the Wiradjuri Nation of central New South Wales and one of Australia’s most prolific and well-known authors.
She has written 18 books including her latest novel, an epic tale called Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (or River of Dreams).
It’s also the first time in Australia a commercially published book has used a First Nations language for the title.
Amongst many other things, she is an Ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and is a Professor of Communications at the University of Queensland.
Anita enjoys eating chocolate, running and being a 'creative disruptor'.
Initially, I wanted to talk to Anita to explore her running career and how she uses running as a tool to support herself and her work.
Yet the more research I did, the more I realised I wanted to speak to her about awareness, history and truth-telling, the importance of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and the power of using your voice, sharing your story and telling your truth.
In this conversation we discussed:
* her childhood growing up in Malabar, south of Sydney in the 70s
* the surprising source of her love of writing and storytelling
* how her identity as an ‘author’ and ‘academic’ has shifted over time
* her memories of her grandmother Amy who was part of the Stolen Generation and the long term and intergenerational impact of that policy,
* her decision to learn and study the Wiradjuri language - the language she, her mother and grandmother were denied - when she turned 50
* where the idea for her latest novel came from and whether there was any resistance to publishing it with the Wiradjuri title,
* the video she posted that was widely shared of her pronouncing the name of her book incorrectly
* ways non-Indigenous people can learn the language, stories and the history of our First Nations people (not the, dare I say it, “white washed” version of it most of us were taught in school)
* running her first Marathon a week before her 49th birthday,
* that if someone believes you have the capacity to do something, that 9 times out of 10 you probably do, so trust them.
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