WIPCE – a student perspective

What an amazing experience it was, to attend WIPCE (July) 2017 in Toronto, ON, Canada. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about travel, navigating a whole new country, seeing the differences between Canada and Australia and most of all understanding more about Indigenous Cultures worldwide and observing what they are doing to benefit their local communities.

As a young Indigenous Australian, I felt so honoured to be able to attend WIPCE and represent Australia as a part of the Indigenous Australian contingent. There was so many Australian mob there ‘reppin’ our flag, performing dances, sharing stories and bringing the world’s oldest culture to the international platform.

Gathered were First Nations people from New Zealand, the US, Japan, Norway, Africa and Canada, celebrating our cultures, our history, what we have overcome, and our dreams for the future.

Before going on this trip, I lived in a bubble. I knew about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Australia and our history, however, I didn’t quite know anything about many of the other Indigenous cultures in the world.

Colonisation, oppression, the attempt at cultural genocide, which heavy affects us today, I was oblivious to the fact that most other First Nation people had faced many of these challenges too.

What I loved the most and got out of WIPCE 2017 was the opportunity to engage with other Indigenous people from all over the world, learning about their cultures. This has opened my mind to see that we not alone in our struggle, other Indigenous cultures around the world have faced the similar challenges to us and together we are standing to continue to see positive changes within our spheres, communities and nations.

It’s exciting that Australia will be hosting the next WIPCE conference in Adelaide, 2020.

I like to thank Tranby for allowing me this opportunity. I shall be forever grateful.

What I will leave you with is an encouragement, to keep fighting, be strong and be proud and stay deadly.

Madalanne Taylor