This week we celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples through our annual week-long NAIDOC Week celebrations. The theme this year celebrates the essential role that women have played - and continue to play - as active and significant role models at the community, local, state and national levels.
Nous acknowledges the achievements and contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made in our communities. Some of our very own consultants are proud Aboriginal women from around Australia, hailing from as far west as Yamatji country to Kuku Yalanji country in Far North Queensland.
A Noongar woman who grew up on Yamatji country, West Australian Tamara Murdock has a strong connection to her community and her family. In keeping with this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, ‘Because of Her, We Can’, we asked Tamara, a Nous consultant in Perth, about an important woman in her life.
“I come from a long line of very strong women, all of whom have had to overcome some pretty harrowing things in order to create a better life for themselves and their children,” Tamara said. “My great-nan was taken from her mum and country when she was a child and forced to train as a servant, she never saw her mum again and didn’t get the opportunity to return to her country until she was much older. One story that has always stuck with me is that she was never allowed to learn to read or write yet at great risk to her own safety she taught herself using old milk tins.
“It is from these women that I learnt the meaning of survival, determination, self-respect and humility. As a result of the trails they’ve created, I’ve had so many great opportunities in my life, both personal and professional, and I feel a responsibility to honour the strength of my foremothers by never taking any opportunity for granted, by doing the best I possibly can and helping to provide those same opportunities to other young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
The best lesson Tamara has learned in her career has been to be open to change and new experiences and take time out for yourself. With this mindset, Tamara was able to identify what she wanted in her professional career: a combination of intellectual stimulation and a sense of purpose in the works she does.
Prior to joining Nous Tamara predominantly worked with community and Aboriginal groups in Australia across the interconnecting areas of environment, culture, health, and employment. Since joining Nous she has developed her expertise across a range of Nous’ sectors including Health & Ageing, Government and Human Services.