Archive for the Health Category

Words of Encouragement

Posted in Aboriginal, Australia, culture, Depression, Education, Health, Health & Wellbeing, Mental Health, mudha, My Beliefs, My Writings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by marvynmc

Nhangka All,

What is on me mind…..hmmmmm

Having worked within all levels of urban, regional, and remote Aboriginal Affairs for 28 years, since I was aged 16 years old, mainly here in Port Augusta, and often at the grass root level, I have seen and done it all, well most of it anyway, as both worker and sometimes even the clientele.

I know fully that working for and with our Peoples it can become very hard and difficult job at times because it demands long hours, time away from family, no time to visit your ancient lands if you live and work away from it, and a lot of personal stress and heartache for there is often much pain and hurt out there in our community.

Such community work with our people often goes unrewarded or recognised by others, but most of us do not worry about such personal honour or glory – just a simple Thank You often suffices or the silent fruitful and postive outcomes we see and achieve later on in some of our peoples lives.

Some times you will be often knocked flat by the very People You are trying to help, by Your own Family and even white fellas – but never give up, when knocked flat to the ground, pick yourself up from the ground, dust yourself off, and go into the fray again and again.

But do not burn yourself out – always have an outlet and periods of rest and relaxation away from it all and recharge your batteries – for if you cannot look after yourself how can you ever hope to look after others…

I live away from my Ancient Lands and Waters, lucky to be descended from three or more Aboriginal Language Groups so I can claim and visit a few, rather than just one, always say to people ‘Born and Raised in Port Augusta, especially Ummeewarra Reserve when segregation was still the political vogue, But Not My Country.

So I try my hardest to make time to go back to Country – to visit my Ancient Lands, Waters and Family.

I recently made this quote up mainly for my Grandfather’s mob, Adnyamathanha Yura of the Northern Flinders Ranges, but it could also be relevant to others:

Those who lose our Mudha (general traditions) are lost in the thorny wilderness of the Utnyu (corpse, Europeans) and they must return to our Yarta (Lands), take off their shoes so that their bare feet can touch our Yarta so that the Spiritual Engery of our Yarta can once again flow through them and they can be renewed. They must wash their face in the Awi (waters) of our Yarta so that their physical self can also be cleansed.

If you live and work away from your Ancient Lands and Water then simply make similiar connections to the Lands and Waters you may live and work on, or simply sit yourself under an unshaded tree at Sunrise or early morning light, close your eyes, and listen – listen to the wind as it rustles through the leaves and feel it flow through and around you. Listen to the first sounds and calls of the birds as they awake and sing to the dawning of a new day – Let the morning rays of Yundu (the sun) energise you by turning your face upwards towards it with closed eyes – and just be be still and silent.

I do this every morning now and it refreshes and empowers me for the day ahead.

A second but still relevant thought I think….

You know every NAIDOC Day here in Port Augusta I try to always be there with my camera to capture for all time the moments and memories of the day, especially, the Award Ceremony and their Recipiants, but after I take such Award shots I then often look around the crowd for other shots to take, and what do I see?

I see many of our unsung community heros sitting and standing admidst the crowded sea of faces, especially some of our old Elders, many now in their wheel chairs or with their walking canes, who had to fight for our Aboriginal Rights at a time when it was not so politically, socially or legally acceptable to do so.

I see some of our young people sitting or standing nearby some of our Elderly unsung Heroes, and think to myself, little do they know they are nearby some of the Giants of our community – the ones who did the hard yakka and work to ensure we, they, can now sit and stand in this public place to celebrate and march down the streets where we were once not permitted to even walk, let alone march, because they knocked and tore down the physical and invisible political walls that once segregated and oppressed our Peoples.

One day some of us may become like these, our Elders, but we should always feel honoured for we will be joining a long list of many of our unsung genuine respected Aboriginal Heroes and Giants.


Transcontinental News Story Published 29 July 2009 – ‘Shamed’ by in-fighting

Posted in Aboriginal, Australia, culture, Education, Health, Health & Wellbeing, My Beliefs, politics, South Australia, Stories about Me with tags , , , , , , , on August 8, 2009 by marvynmc
Here is the New Article Story I and the Editor of the Trans worked on:
Walha Udi & his Son (nephew) Josh Coulthard-Wayehill at NAIDOC Week – Mr McKenzie said Elders must set an example for young people
An Aboriginal man said he is ashamed by the frequency and severity of fights between young Aboriginal People in Port Augusta.

Marvyn McKenzie Snr made the call after a fight between two of his nephews, resulting in one being hospitalised.

Mr McKenzie said this sort of behaviour set back past achievements of the Region’s Elders and gave Aboriginal People a bad name among the greater community.

‘Sometimes I am ashamed to call myself Aboriginal, especially at times when I hear of Aboriginal People and Families fighting other Aboriginal Families, especially some of youth and some of our elders who sohuld know better’ he said.

‘What are they doing (by fighting) is dividing us as a Community, as a People, and making it hard for us to achieve our social goals, political goals and health goals.

‘The (Aboriginal) Flag should be the one that unites us; respect our differences, but we have got to recognise the ones that unites us.’

Mr McKenzie said the behaviour ‘undid’ the work of Aboriginal Elders from various language groups in the 1960s, negotiating peace with one another in Port Augusta.

‘Many people in Port Augusta have forgotten that when the migration of Aboriginal people from far flung Aboriginal missions and reserves began to occur our Elder Lawmen got together firstly to make it culturally right to enter onto the lands and waters of Port Augusta and to establish rules of conduct, relationships and behaviour towards one another,’ he said.

‘Most of the Elder Lawmen have now passed on but that does not mean that the unwritten sacred agreements and laws they made for us all have, these old laws and agreements must still apply to us all today, otherwise we dishonour them and ourselves.’

He also expressed concern over “gang” behaviour where people held on to arguements they were not directly involved in.

‘My message is this: don’t gang up. If someone does something to them or says something to them, it is not to you. So its their problem, not yours,’ he said.

‘Otherwise the problem just grows and gets bigger and bigger…and it becomes generational, when really we should be working togetherlike our Elders did.’

According to Mr McKenzie, Elders also need to teach younger generations about their past, including the peace treaty and traditiona laws regarding fights.

‘If our kids are fighting or arguing, we Elders should not get involved other than to say, ‘If you going to fight each other then let it be a fair and square fight and once the fight is over, that’s it, end of story and the fight or argument is not to be brought up again,’ he said.

According to Mr McKenzie, under traditional law, fights had to be kept clean and fair and should end with the last punch.

‘If they are the ground, you don’t kick them – that was our traditional way, our culture,’ he said.

‘If you did kick them while they were on the ground, you had broken our law and were punished severly.’

‘If the person kicked (should have been knocked) me down – fairly – I’d buy them a beer and the fight was finished and never brought up again.’

What I like about My Depression

Posted in Aboriginal, Depression, Education, Health, Health & Wellbeing, Mental Health, My Beliefs, Stories about Me with tags , , , , , , on August 7, 2009 by marvynmc
One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys.
Dr. Al Lorin
In moments of discouragement, defeat, or even despair, there are always certain things to cling to. Little things usually: remembered laughter, the face of a sleeping child, a tree in the wind—in fact, any reminder of something deeply felt or dearly loved. No man is so poor as not to have many of these small candles. When they are lighted, darkness goes away—and a touch of wonder remains.
– tombstone inscription in Britain
There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.
– Seneca
Much of my Depression, Stress and Disappointment in Life often stems from the Actions, Words and Beliefs of some of my Extended Family Members, but regardless, at the End of the Day, When All Is Said and Done, I still Love Them All Deeply.

We are Many but we are also joined as One through our Shared Common Ancestral Connection and Blood.

“The weight of the world is love.
Under the burden of solitude,
under the burden of dissatisfaction
the weight,the weight we carry is love. ”
— Allen Ginsberg
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
Break Free The Chain From The Rock of Depression
If we admit our depression openly and freely
Those around us get from it An experience of Freedom
Rather than the depression itself