Lorraine, indigenous, IWD

Meet Lorraine: What makes me a strong woman? My ancestors.

International Women's Day 2022

In the lead up to International Women’s Day 2022, we are honoured to share the stories and words of Indigenous women at BHP.

What makes me a strong woman? My ancestors. My lady ancestors that led and created a pathway for me as an Aboriginal woman. My grandmother and my mother, who have taught me a lot about my culture.

My culture makes me strong. Having lived through hardships, being disconnected from our culture, having to adapt to western society, losing our identity, the impact of poverty and intergenerational trauma, but then regaining it but reconnecting to our culture. That’s what makes us strong.

But we’ve survived for 65,000 years. We are the oldest culture in the world – and we are still strong.

I feel extra strong when I’m on country. Because when we ground ourselves to the earth, we are connected into the ground spiritually. I dig my feet into the ground, I close my eyes, and I think about all the ancestors that walked before me. I pay respect to my Elders that have passed and also the present. I speak words that come from my heart.

Our stories go back a long time. As women, we can dance. We can tell our stories through our dance; through our art; and as Aboriginal people we can see that story being told. We can build each other up.

This is matriarch country that we are on. It is our obligation and our role as Aboriginal women to stand in solidarity together.

Our strong family connection also makes us very strong too.

I want to give younger Indigenous women hope in their life.  That they can become whatever they dream to become. I want my daughters to be powerful. I want my daughters to be able to speak the truth. I want them to know that I have left a legacy that has made a change in this world.

What does #BreakTheBias mean to me? It means giving Aboriginal women the opportunity to get to positions of leadership. Aboriginal women in leadership roles can understand and empathise with an Aboriginal woman in a work area. It would be culturally safe for them to speak up if problems arise and help them be stronger.

I want to walk alongside Aboriginal women to help create a pathway so that they can have a career, a normal happy healthy life. And not have to struggle how I did.

#IWD2022 #BreakTheBias