Aunty Carolyn did the Welcome to Country at the Emerging Cultural Leaders event at Footscray Community Arts Centre tonight.  She said:

“This is sacred land. One of the oldest existing.  Watched over by Bunjil the Eagle on land and Waa the Crow protects the waterways.  We are to respect the land, not destroy, and respect those to whom this country belongs.  Creation itself is sacred, so when we participate in right relationship, we participate in what is sacred… profanity is setting yourself against Creation. In being willfully blind we are supporting what is profane. By wasting food and water when others have none.  We don’t want to be discomforted or put out… there’s something sacred in being discomforted rather than doing what everyone else does.  Assimilation is just another word for massacre.”


emerging cultural leaders

Photo credit: Minh Nguyen

Loved to have this introduction and ideas of belonging, culture, identity and place in shared space with my friend Minh’s installation piece…

BIO:  Minh Nguyen is currently completing her Masters of Applied Psychology. Her dissertation research explored constructions of ethnic identity amongst second generation Christian-affiliated Vietnamese in Melbourne. She found that through the negotiations between social relationships, and within one’s location in society, participants created a ‘different kind of Australian’ identity that accessed resources from the surrounding environment, their parent’s culture and experiences of racism and exclusion. This study provided an account of Vietnamese Christian identity construction, a particular historical, cultural, and social location within the complex world.

PROJECT: Immigrants are continually challenged by issues of settlement, sense of belonging, exclusion and identity construction.  These issues are also important life challenges for the children of immigrants, the second generation and the generation thereafter.  Chopsticks and Vegemite explores the identity construction of four people from a young Christian affiliated Vietnamese called Night Church.  Unlike their parents, they create their identities and evaluate themselves in relation to the structures and ideologies of the new society, in addition to the memories retold of their parents’ birthplace.