Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnership Program: Marcia Czerniak – Week three

26 November 2019

We are following the Department of Education’s Marcia Czerniak as she takes part in the Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnership Program.

Marcia has been placed to work with Nyamba Buru Yawuru in Broome and she will share her stories and experiences with us each week.

Week three:

"There’s that old saying, “time flies when you’re having fun” and I have to say, the past three weeks have flown by. But on the other hand, it also feels like we have been up here for ages and dare I say it, I may even be starting to get used to this weather.

It is a little strange how you can adapt to new settings and ways of doing things so quickly. But let me be clear – I don’t think I (or my curly frizzy hair) will ever enjoy the humidity!

If this last week has shown me anything, it is that there are a lot of strong, resilient people living in the Kimberley. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t something new to me.

Having been up here before a few times and meeting a lot of school staff, I have met a lot of people working in schools who are amazingly strong people that go above and beyond what is expected of them to help their students.

But this week was different.

During the week, I undertook Yawuru Cultural Immersion with Dianne Appleby. It went for four hours, but I could have listened to her for days. It gave me such valuable insights, allowing me to learn more about Yawuru culture and history. If there is anything I could recommend to anyone working or living in Broome, it is to do this training.

On a side note, Dianne also makes some of the best honey I have ever tasted… I highly recommend the watermelon honey.

On the weekend, we made the trek to Fitzroy Crossing to visit the two secondees who are doing their placement at Marnin Studio with Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Shelter. The Studio is a social enterprise for local women, which connects to culture, country and identity and has been running since 2013.

We were lucky enough to be able to visit it and see some of the pieces the women had been making, and while we were there we had a little working bee. I had a great time threading string on beautifully painted honkey nuts for Christmas tree decorations.

We were able to see the amazing pieces made by these incredible artists; from stunning screen-printed tablecloths and pillowcases to the cutest handmade bush toys. Never has a goanna been so cute! And something so simple, giving an hour or so of our time to do some odd jobs around the space, was so valued. Which struck a chord with me the more I had time to reflect on it.

Listening to and speaking with the Studio Coordinator, it was pretty obvious her role there is more than just a job to her. She is passionate about her work and the work done at Marnin Studio. There is no way could you be a 9 to 5’er, clock-on-and-off type of person to be working in that environment.

In my role at Education, we often make mention of and recognise the people who share those traits when it is obvious the work they do is a vocation rather than a job.

We based this year’s WA Education Awards promotional video on the concept of “teachers never stop teaching”, because they are the people you want shaping your child’s future.

And the people I met this week, well they are the people and the organisations helping to shape the future of their community. That trait, that resilience, drive and dedication, is becoming more and more common in the people we have met in the organisations up here.

They are adaptable, they are strong and they are making a difference."

Page last updated 26 November 2019