Creating new connections to traditional culture
When Evangeline left high school she had a limited vision for her future. But the training she’s received while working at the Djilpin Arts Ghunmarn Culture Centre, supported by Caritas Australia, has helped her develop new skills and ignited her passion for the maintenance and preservation of her Aboriginal culture.
This opportunity has helped me turn my life into something more positive."Evangeline
Evangeline is a proud young Ramingining woman living in the small community of Beswick (Wugularr) in the Northern Territory. Like many remote First Australian communities, Beswick faces a range of complex ongoing challenges, and many people in the town feel disempowered by poorly conceived policies and decisions.
When Evangeline left high school after Year 11 she tried a few career options without success and soon felt dispirited. “But by the time I was 22, I really started to think about doing something positive with my life,” she says.
So when she was offered a position as an Artsworker at the Djilpin Arts Ghunmarn Culture Centre in Beswick, Evangeline recognised a path to a new future.
The community-owned venture is supported by Caritas Australia’s Development of Cultural Enterprise program. It brings together Elders and young people, like Evangeline, so new generations can learn traditional skills and understand cultural knowledge through sharing art, storytelling, dance and song – practices that are central to traditional culture.
In the three years since joining the Centre, Evangeline has truly flourished. “This opportunity has helped me turn my life into something more positive,” she says.
Now a Senior Artsworker, Evangeline is committed to helping her community stay connected to its culture. “Culture is our identity and how we understand ourselves,” she explains. “It’s important for us young people to be able to learn these skills and then we can pass them on when we are old.”
You are helping us to keep our culture alive.”Evangeline