Wik Nation: Strong in culture and language – Phyllis Yunkaporta

My vision for Aurukun to is see our children and young people become more literate and healthier, to have pride in working and putting money on the table and have status in the community.
I want to see more of us going out on country for healing, passing on culture, tradition, and language for healing. Digging for yams, showing what to look for to teach the young girls traditional bush medicines.
We need to look at the cultural way of life and introduce cultural practices again. Our culture is at the heart of our wellbeing.
We need to pass on our Wik values to our children. The education system needs to change and listen to us. It’s good to remind children of the importance of languages.
Bring them back to their history, where they come from, their ancestors. The wiser you are, you are better placed to pass on the knowledge.
At the moment, it feels like culture is underneath. We need to remind the old people that they have the cultural knowledge to pass on and not let it die. I feel like nothing has happened like the old people wanted. They had the authority to be able to express themselves, but the government twisted their words and have taken control. Everything has been trampled over by government.
Our old people weren’t heard for what they said, otherwise, we could have a different government system from what we have now, things would be different in the community. Aurukun has so much to offer, culturally and linguistically. We want community to be controlled by the educated and culturally strong. We’re all united in a sense and connected and have that kinship.

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