Kimberley Benjamin is a proud Yawuru, Bardi and Kija Aboriginal woman from Western Australia who said that NAIDOC Week is the perfect time to explore story telling.
Kimberley, a documentary writer by trade, is a member of the national NAIDOC Week committee . She will bring her knowledge and passion for story telling to young people at the Luminosity Youth Summit in 2019.
"I have always strongly identified with my Aboriginal heritage and culture and have always felt a great responsibility to continue the fight of our ancestors," Kimberley said.
"Because of that I also have a strong passion for telling our stories and our truth about our history and sharing that with the rest of Australia.
"I think it can be a powerful thing to tell a story, especially one that is so important and personal but our history is something I think needs to be shared."
Kimberley says inspiration for telling stories can come from a variety of different sources.
"Stories connect people to places, their community and the past and for us stories play such a huge part of our culture," she said.
"Our stories have been passed down through generations for over 60,000 years so it is inherent in everything we do. We take pride in our stories to remember the past and feel that connection to our history.
"One of the most powerful stories I have heard from my family was about my grandmother who was part of the stolen generation. From her records we know she was a bit of a horror child and fought against what was happening."
Kimberley hopes to show how important it is to bring compassion to story-telling when she speaks on day one at Luminosity.
"In my work compassion is so important because often stories are incredibly personal. When telling stories listening is so important and often it can take months or years before someone feels comfortable to share their story with you," she said.
"You need to understand that everyone's journey is unique and every story will be unique."
This year's NAIDOC Week theme is Voice, Treaty, Truth - Let's work together for a shared future and highlights the desire of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a seat at the bargaining table in discussions of Constitutional reform and treaties; and for a truthful depiction of colonisation to underpin the narrative of Australian history.
Kimberley said it was a privilege to play an integral role on the national committee and develop the theme for this year's NAIDOC Week.
"Story-telling is about giving people a voice and I am so pleased that our theme starts with giving Aboriginal people a voice to speak about treaty negotiations which if successful will bring the truth about our history," she said.
"NAIDOC is about the whole community coming together and we are gaining some great momentum so it is an exciting time ahead."
Kimberley Benjamin will be in Port Macquarie on July 24-26 speaking at the 2019 Luminosity Youth Summit. To purchase tickets click here.