Kelm­scott wo­man in Miss Naidoc fi­nal

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Front Page - Jes­sica Nico

A KELM­SCOTT res­i­dent says she hopes her in­volve­ment in this year’s Miss Naidoc Perth will help in­spire oth­ers to re­con­nect with their cul­ture.

Like many Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, 30-year-old Louise O’Reilly felt a loss of fam­ily and cul­tural con­nec­tions af­ter the Stolen Gen­er­a­tions, but an urge to re­con­nect those bro­ken links and help oth­ers to do the same led her to vol­un­teer at a lo­cal res­i­dent’s as­so­ci­a­tion, school and kinder­garten, as well as start a new small busi­ness.

“I have started a new heart­cen­tred busi­ness which, for now, con­sists of writ­ing and blogging about Abo­rig­i­nal so­cial is­sues and em­pow­er­ing peo­ple to fol­low their hearts, take steps to­wards their dreams and to serve oth­ers,” she said.

“I am also work­ing on two em­pow­er­ment pro­grams, one for young Abo­rig­i­nal girls to con­nect them with cul­ture and the other will be an on­line course for peo­ple who want to be in­stru­men­tal in em­pow­er­ing the Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity.”

She said the aim be­hind her in­volve­ment in Miss Naidoc was to in­spire peo­ple with sim­i­lar sto­ries to hers.

“Win­ning a ti­tle was never the rea­son I ap­plied for Miss Naidoc Perth, I ap­plied to de­velop my­self fur­ther and push my­self out of my com­fort zone,” she said.

“I ap­plied to learn more about my cul­ture, but mostly I ap­plied so I can in­spire Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple who, like me, have fam­i­lies that are dis­pos­sessed from cul­ture but feel it within them. I want to in­spire and en­cour­age them to take that next step and con­nect with cul­ture.

“It doesn’t mat­ter how you were raised or what you look like; if your heart is pulling you to learn more about your her­itage and cul­ture, fol­low it. It’s time.”

Win­ners of the 2018 Miss Naidoc Perth will be an­nounced on May 26.

Visit www.louise­o­r­eilly.com.au for more in­for­ma­tion.

Miss Naidoc Perth fi­nal­ist Louise O'Reilly.

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