Archive for the Stories about Me Category

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

Welcome To Rock Bottom – A Story of Hope Against Committing Suicide

Posted in Aboriginal, culture, Education, My Beliefs, Stories about Me with tags , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by marvynmc

The only place to go when you hit rock bottom is up.

Rock bottom is good solid ground, and a dead end street is just a place to turn around. ~Buddy Buie and J.R. Cobb, “Rock Bottom” (song)

Rock Bottom means you have hit an all time low in your life.

All the Good and Bad that happens in our life have two Goals and Purposes; to build our Character and our Identity.

Hitting Rock Bottom Is Not the End Of Your Life But An Opportunity To Begin Life Anew, But This Time With More Experience And Knowledge Than When You First Came Into The World.

Throughout my life I have Hit Rock Bottom a number of times for a variety of reasons.

One of the worse Rock Bottom Times I Hit was about 20+ years ago when I went through a 6-10 months alcoholic phase of my life.

I was drinking every day from morning to night in order to try and deaden the many pains and hurt in my life and to keep the dreaded Hangover away.

Whilst the Alcohol may have dulled my hurt. pain and problems it did not solve them. In fact the Alcohol often caused more problems for me through fights and contact with the law.

I drank anything and everything except Metho, though some of the people who I hanged around were into the Metho.

I often had no desire or hunger for food, just the next bottle of booze.

I had allowed the Alcohol to control every aspect of my Life and life just became an Alcoholic Daze.

On one or two occassions I had to be literally pulled up from the gutter because I was nearly ran over by Friends or Family members.

Every 2 to 3 weeks I would literally stagger to my Grandmother’s home in order to have a bath and a bit to eat. I put her through a lot of hurt because she was sadden and upset to see her Eldest Grandson in the state I was in. She always said to me: I am praying for you and I love you…but her words often went in one ear and out the other.

On some paydays I would often buy a carton of beer for myself and go out to the sand hills alone to drink under a peppercorn tree. I would also take a rope with me and tied it up to the peppercorn tree and then start drinking the beer by a fire.

Every now and then I would, through many sips, I think about my life and I would look at the rope and think to myself:

‘Here I am, all alone in this World! I have all these problems, pain and hurt. With this rope I can end all of it by taking the easy way out.

Then through other sips of beer I would then ask myself:

What are the reasons Why I should continue Living and not take my own Life?

What and Who is in this World that they are important enough for me to Stay in it?

My main Answer was always my Children…

I asked myself:

Do I want my Children to go through Life without me?

Do I want them to go through Life without a parent(s) like me?

What would I do if it was one of them sitting here tonight looking out this Rope to take their own Life?

Would I try to stop them or talk them out of it?

Would I leave them always wondering Why I took My Life?

Would I set an example for them that when there is a lot of hurt, suffering and pain in their Life, it is much easier to Take Your Life than Face Up to Them and Try To Solve Them?

Will one of My Children be Sitting Here One Day Like Me Ready To Take Their Own Life?

I also thought of my dear old Grandmother and how upset and sadden she would be if I took my own Life. She would have most likely died from a Broken Heart…

I would drink the full carton until I fell asleep and the next day I would awake, untie the Rope and burn it…and say Not Today…This was often repeated on a number of occasions and it was these days that I would stagger myself off to my Grandmother…

Rock bottom is always down there waiting for us to either hit it or fall back down towards it…but it is there… and often only there at rock bottom…when we will truthfully take a long good hard look out ourselves and our life…and then we are given one of life greatest choices…we either stay there…or…we pull ourselves up from out of there.

From time to time…throughout our Life…we are going to find ourselves falling back down to Rock Bottom again…but again when we find ourselves falling back down at Rock Bottom…then we are given again the same choices.

George Patton once said: “Success is how high you bounce when you hit rock bottom.”

The only place to go when you hit rock bottom is up.

I look back at that time now and say to myself: If I had Taken My Life All Those Years Ago:

My Children would have grown up without me…

I Would not be Alive To Talk My Eldest Son and Daughter Out Of Taking Their Own Life Through Suicide…

My youngest Son, Macka (Marvyn Jnr) would not have been born…

I would not be alive to see my first Grand-child, Cecelia, Born and spend what time I can with her…

I would not see my Family on both side gain some of our Ancient Traditional Lands back…

I would not have been here to Hug My Cousin Brother Dwayne who is going through a Stressful Time and Tell Him that If Ever He Felt That No-one Loved Him Then He Is To Always Remember That His Big Brother Truly Loves and Care For Him…

I Would Not Have Met My Soul Mate…

I Would Not Be Alive At My Grand-Mothers Book Launch To Stand Up on Stage Talk About Her Life (and ball my eyes out while doing so) and To Tell Her How Proud I Was Of Her…

I would not be Alive to Write Up Our McKenzie Family Tree and History So That The Next Generation Will Know About Our Family…

I Would Not Be Alive To See My Grand-Mother Still Alive Today At 94 Years Old And Fully Aware Of Everything…

Thank You Nanna For Your Love and Prayers All Those Years Ago…because….

Nanna…Your words of Love and Prayer did not go through one ear and out the other, they took root in my heart and mind as a comfort and strength for me to keep my life rather than taking it, both the good and bad…


Nhangka Warntu All – Hello! How are you? Good I hope? Who Am I?

Posted in Aboriginal, Adnyamathanha Yura Culture, Stories about Me with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by marvynmc
Walha Udi Marvyn Mc

Walha Udi Marvyn Mc

Well this is my first time ever at Blogging and it was suggested to me by an Australian Aboriginal Sister who I met briefly, along with her partner, and who both had a lasting impact on my life, despite our very brief meeting together. So when she suggested I start my own personal Blog Page – I listened and followed her advice. Thank you L & V…

So the first place I should start after saying Hello to all in my Vap-apa (Mother’s Father, Mate, Grandfather) Language, Yura Ngawarla, which is the Ancient Aboriginal Language of his mob, Adnya-mathanha Kuyani Yura is: “Who Am I?”

My full name (Adnya-mathanha Kuyani and English names) is Walha Udi Virdianha Nhunga Marvyn-anha F McKenzie Snr and I am an Adnyamathanha Kuyani Ararru Vukurra Milana Yura

‘Walha Udi’ is my Adnya-mathanha Kuyani Yura Mityi (lit ‘Earth Name’) that was given to me by my Vap-apa, and it means Bush Turkey (Australian Bustard) (Walha) Song (Udi), and it was the Ancient song he always use to sing to me in his Ancient Australian Aboriginal Language and make me dance to.

‘Virdianha’ is my one of my Birth Title Order Names which indicates that I am the first born makle child in my clise immediate Family and it describes what my role and responsibilities will be in my immediate Family – Mother’s Helper – thus my role and responsibility is to always look after my Mother, to make sure she is always well fed and cared for.

‘Nhunga’ is my secind Birth Title Order Names and has two meanings. The first meaning is that ‘I am an Elder Brother’ to some of my younger Family members and the second meaning is that ‘I am the first born male child in my generation, that is the eldest Grandson’.

‘Adnya-mathanha’ is the recent name we have adopted for our Aboriginal Language Group which is made up of  five ancient separate but connected Aboriginal Language Groups: Kuyani, Wailpi, Yadliaura, Pilatapa and Pangkala, which are the traditional groups of the Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia. I am descended from the Kuyani and also Wailpi.

‘Adnya-mathanha’ literally means ‘Rock/Stone People’ though some often incorrectly say ‘Hill People’ and if that was the case then we would actually be call Vambata-mathanha, as Vambata means ‘hills’.

We call ourselves ‘Yura’ and this name is derived fron the name ‘Yurra’ meaning ‘Earth, dirt’, thus we can often define Yura as ‘of the Earth’. some people have incorrectly defined Yura as meaning Man but we have a separate word for Man and it is Miri.

Some people often incorrectly say our language is called Adnya-mathanha but in reality it is called Yura Ngawarla, which literally means ‘Earth Language’.

Ararru Vukurra Milana means:

Ararru is one of the two names we have for our separate but connected marriage lines, others call ‘moiety’, the opposite moiety to Ararru is Mathari.

Vukurra is the word for ‘Northwind’ and Milana is an old ancient word for people or totem, thus I am descended from the Northwind Mob/People/Totem. The opposite Mob is Varpa Milana – literally South wind Mob/People/Totem.

I am an artist (painter since 1994, photography mainly) and a writer.

I am very political because my whole life is often a political statement in itself.

I believe fully in Reconciliation between Black and White Australians, although I believe before such Reconciliation can occur their are some historical Restorative Social Justice issues that need to be identified, discussed and resolved prior to any such Reconciliation.

I am also descended from the Irish and Scottish and therefore percieve myself to be a bridge between my Black and White Australians Ancestors Peoples.

Nuff said re intro…

We must Teach and Learn of our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Heritage

Posted in Aboriginal, Adnyamathanha Yura Culture, Australia, culture, Education, My Beliefs, Stories about Me on August 6, 2009 by marvynmc
I thought it important to share more of my opinions and ideas of the Nature and Heritage of We Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Australian Peoples, especially with some of our Youth.

Please feel free to share this note with others.

  • Always Be proud of your Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage and Culture for it is considered to represent the Oldest surviving Culture in the World, therefore, it is important that we continue to maintain it and pass our Cultural Knowledge onto our Descendants.
  • Never ever be ashamed of your Cultural Heritage and Always Walk with Your Head Held High
  • Our Ancestors were a very Strong, Proud, Intelligent and Adapatable peoples.
  • Our Ancestors were not a lazy people and we dishonour them if we are lazy in our own lives.
  • Our Ancient Culture is based on Respect – Respect for Yourself First, Respect for your Family Second, Respect for Your Elders Third, Respect for Other Peoples of the World Fourthly.
  • We had no need to wage full scale war on our Neighbours for lived in peaceful co-existence for we are all related and traded with each other.
  • We have many Ancient Name and Land Boundaries but at the end of the day we are One People who merely developed diverse ways of Cultural Expression and Connection to our Lands.
  • The many freedoms and advancement we have today were hard fought and won by the blood, sweat and tears of our Elders, so do not waste or squander them by refusing to take any opportunities for self and group advancement that may come your way.
  • If you waste your opportunities to develop as a person and people then you dishonour our Elders and Ancestors.
  • If you do not know about your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identity and Culture then go and ask some of your respected Elders. If the Elders do not know it then go and research it for yourself, because I am fully aware that the traditional trasfer of Aboriginal Knowledge and Education have been eroded or vanished in some regions.
  • Do not wait for others to teach you or your children. Has you begin to learn start to teach your children firstly and then expand outwards from them to other people in your local community.
  • Always do such research with Respect and do not become vain or big headed about it because in Ancient days our learning and acquisition of knowledge took a life time and not a few days, weeks, months or years.
  • Respect is a two way street – Youth must Respect Elders and Elders must Respect Youth, otherwise how can our Youth learn how to Resepct if Elders do not practice it towards them first.
  • Also, always, try to share what you learn with others for that is our Ancient Way.
  • Do not hog or keep such knowledge to yourself because that is being selfish and which goes against our laws and traditions; the knowledge you learn and acquire equally belong to other people in your group and not just you and/or your immediate Family members.
  • Do not misuse the knowledge you acquire for selfish gains or against others, teach them rather than admonish or beat them with it.
  • If your language is dying, vanishing, or not being used then take a personal responsibility to bring it back into your life and the community at large.
  • Elders have a responsibility to teach and Youth have a responsibility to learn so that they may become the Teachers to the next Generation of our Peoples.
  • Do not ever become known as the Generation that finally gave up for good our Ancient Ways, Knowledge and Traditions.