Yarning

Listening to the voices of our young people #culturesquad  

Jedda Costa

My name is Jedda Costa, I’m 20 years old and I’m a proud Wemba Wemba, Yorta Yorta and Mutti Mutti woman from Melbourne.

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On education

I’m studying a Bachelor of Communications Journalism at RMIT University. Growing up I was always an inquisitive-natured kid who asked a lot of questions which meant I became aware of the world around me at an early age. From there I developed a love for reading and writing and became conscious of the social issues effecting my community. This pushed me to want to break the cycle of inter-generational trauma in my family and make positive change.  So I went on to tertiary education to explore a career in communications.

On growing up

I have always looked up to my Mother. She was born during a time when her basic human rights were stripped from her because of her race. Despite this she always manages to fight through adversity and thrive at whatever she does.

On Culture

Culture means everything to me. My culture is my motivation that gets me up for Uni and to work everyday. It’s the precious history and invaluable knowledge passed down from my Elders. It’s a mutual connection you share with other blackfellas when you first meet them. I turn to my culture for strength everyday. It’s a part of who I am.

The journey so far, challenges and achievements

One of the main challenges for me has always been feeling like such a minority as a young Aboriginal person at school, Uni and work. Because of this, I’ve been made to feel as though my thoughts and opinions aren’t valued. But what’s important is how I choose to overcome these sorts of things in order to thrive and excel.

My biggest achievement so far has been taking the step to go to Uni and being the first one in my immediate family to do so.

On imagining Australia 

I imagine a more culturally diverse nation in all aspects. Our knowledge, stories and Songlines are just as important as anyone else’s and it’s every Australian’s responsibility to acknowledge that and to listen to what we have to say as the First Peoples of this nation. I imagine us as a unified country, respectful of all visitors and people.

On what matters most

I hope to become a broadcast journalist and travel. I would like to work in different Indigenous communities not only in Australia but also around the world. I think it would be really interesting to see how we relate as traditional custodians.

Through studying Journalism I hope to break down negative stereotypes about my people. I want to see an evolving media landscape where Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander voices are heard on mainstream platforms.


Nathan May

My name is Nathan May, I descend from the Arabana, Yawuru and Marridjabin tribes.

I grew up all my life in Darwin NT and moved down to Adelaide when I was seventeen to study and create a better future for myself. I moved to Adelaide to get away from the negative things that were happening in my hometown when I was a teenager. I was very lucky to grow up in a supportive community and going to church meant I was always surround by music during my childhood. It was at the age of three that I first fell in-love with music.

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On education

I am currently studying Popular Music & Creative Technologies at the University of Adelaide Elder Music Conservatorium.

I’m always looking out for new opportunities and chasing them up. I want to tour with different artists and travel to other countries to experience the different ways that other blackfellas live and express their culture. Songwriting for me is about sharing stories. With music we can all speak the same language.

I write songs in memory of my friends and family and to remember all the good times we used to have and as a reminder that there’s always hope.

I’m about to set off on tour with my music mentor international touring singer songwriter and Nhunggabarra, Kooma, Muruwari man Glenn Skuthorpe for the Taking It Home Album Launch tour. We’re heading out west to Unk’s country and playing shows and doing workshops throughout SA, VIC, NSW and QLD.

I’m excited to see where my education and these new opportunities will take me and the affect it will have on my future.

On growing up

Growing up I didn’t just look up to one person, there were many. Family is a big part of my life and I look up to all my family whether they are doing well or not. The biggest individual person out of my family I looked up to is probably my Uncle Brendon. At the age of three my Uncle put time in to teach me how to play the drums. From there I only went up. I thank him everyday for it.

On culture

Culture and music is what makes me happy. Music is life for me, it’s my culture, its about connection and being with my family. It takes me to positive places I’ve never been. Through my music I want to show other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people that you can do and be whoever you want.

The journey so far, challenges and achievements

My main challenge I get everywhere I go is being stereotyped. A lot of people that are my good friends now have actually admitted that they stereotyped me for being a young Aboriginal male. It is very hard at times but whenever people get to know me I feel like I am breaking the stereotype through my kindness and music.

I like to think of myself as a quite achiever. My biggest achievement to date is producing and releasing my EP ‘Reflection’ – five tracks of my own music. It’s so amazing seeing how many people love and listen to my music.

On imagining Australia

Uniting together and educating the people that want to be educated, with our people’s history and stories.

On what matters most

To do the impossible things that people say I can’t do. I want to put an album out by the end of this year with all my original songs and tour with it, but also be well-known as a singer-songwriter in Australia. I also want to finish my music degree and be able to teach music to my community.

I want to encourage younger generations to have dreams, achieve their goals and to not be afraid of who they are. I want to be a positive role model in and outside of my community.


Chloe Wighton

My name is Chloe Wighton I’m a Wiradjuri woman from Gilgandra NSW.

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On education

I’m studying a Masters of Museum and Heritage Studies. I’ve had the opportunity to explore a whole new way of interpreting and conveying ideas of the human past through Archaeology, in particular Aboriginal Archaeology. I’ve now started Master of Museum and heritage Studies. I am extremely passionate about the process of repatriation and the links to healing for our people. Given my strong interest in repatriation of Indigenous material remains I plan to complete my Masters dissertation on this topic. I hope to eventually undertake a PhD and look at the issues that surround repatriation. I am very passionate about the process of repatriation and I believe it is very much a part of the healing process of the nation.

On growing up

Growing up I always looked up to my Nan (Collette Wighton). She’s a strong Wiradjuri woman who has worked her entire life through some extremely difficult times, to ensure her family had the best chance of success. Nan raised her own four children and the majority of her grandchildren. She has been one of our biggest role models and has very much shaped the person who I am today.

On culture

Culture means connection. Connection means knowledge and belonging.

The journey so far, challenges and achievements

My biggest achievement to date has been becoming a mother. My son George, who is now two years old has given me the greatest opportunity in learning more about who I am and what future I want for George.

On imagining Australia

I hope that one day the entire country can come to terms with our shared history.

On what matters most

I have a number of career paths that interest me but what is at the core of everything that drives me is my connection to my family and culture.

Family is the most important part of who I am. For me culture and connection means knowing where I come from and that I will always have a home to go back to.