In this week’s episode, Josh is talking to Nicole Brown who has been an Expert Judge for the NT Young Achiever Awards for many years.

Nicole is proud and passionate about sharing First Nation culture and is a proud Indigenous woman of Larrakia/Malak Malak descent.

Her passion is breaking down Indigenous barriers with her vast knowledge and skills through Indigenous Engagement Consulting.

Nicole works for the Northern Land Council and also runs her own consultancy.

She is the Deputy Chairperson of the Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation and am a strong advocate for Indigenous women and youth.

In her spare time, Nicole volunteers by mentoring our young people in schools and using her journey to inspire them to become the leaders of tomorrow.


In this episode:

  • We hear about Nicole’s inspiration being her Mother and Grandmother from the Daly River on Malak Malak land
  • Do you know what land you live or work on? Nicole encourages you to find out.
  • We learnt that the Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) seasonal year is divided into seven main seasons:
  • Balnba (rainy season)
  • Dalay (monsoon season)
  • Mayilema (speargrass, Magpie Goose egg and knock ’em down season)
  • Damibila (Barramundi and bush fruit time)
  • Dinidjanggama (heavy dew time)
  • Gurrulwa (big wind time)
  • Dalirrgang (build-up)


Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn

For more information on NAIDOC Week, 2021 go to https://www.naidoc.org.au/


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00:00:10 Unknown :

Welcome to the inspirational Australian’s podcast, where we chat to people making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others and here is your host today, Josh Griffin Thank you, Annette and this morning i’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners where I am recording the Battaron people and I would like to acknowledge their people past, present and ladies are emerging as well. And Annette, iIll throw it to you because, you know, well, you’re recording, what land you’re on today. I do actuallyJosh, we’re both in Melbourne, but we’re in the we’re entering people’s land. You were saying something interesting about, that’s just been formalised. Yes. So I might have actually seen that on Nicole Brown’s social media post. I’m going to go to her shortly to introduce her as today’s guest. But recently it has been actually formalized in terms of the aboriginal councils in Victoria. There’s been some contesting, the contested land, in terms of which aboriginal council had traditional ownership of that area. And that’s rich from the cbd in Melbourne after the southeastern suburbs and in some other spots as well. That’s a huge population area here in Victoria and greater Melbourne. And so where our offices are located, that was actually a contested area. And so, previously a more general acknowledgement was suggested. Now it’s formalised as we’re under a country and where I’m recording at. My home is, has been known for a long time, has been Battaron country. That’s really exciting. And thanks to Nicole for sharing that post. And I’m going to say this later on. But for anyone who’s on Linkedin, please go and follow Nicole Brown. She is just an incredible fellow, just beautiful, wonderful, interesting educational content. And every time I’m on Linkedin, there’s a new post from nicole and it’s obviously a highlight of going back to within. So I will throw it in the call very shortly. But first, I also wanted to ask everyone to jump on Instagram and follow us at Inspirational Australians, and also find us on Awards Australia and on Facebook too. So check out our page, we highlight some of our guests. We highlight some of the winners and the award programs that we run here at Awards Australia, the good bollo, and because it is a happy talk to everyone. I’d also like to suggest we follow at black business. Let’s be like business on instagram. Really great informative account. Very helpful for allies to because they provide heaps of content about what we can do as allies for our first nations, brothers and sisters. So Annette, over to you for your little housekeeping that you take care of each week, I could hear the bulk i mean, happy night. Everybody. Thanks Josh, for the introduction. My little bit is I just want everyone to I listen to the podcast. Thank you. But write and review it because if you rate and review a podcast, it helps get it out to other people. And that’s what we want to do. Want to share our inspirational stories to the greater well. So I get on board if you don’t know how to do it pop onto the website, awardsaustralia.com/podcast, and I’ve even written a how to guide. So looking forward to getting some more reviews, thanks guys. Beautiful plays on there. As Annette suggested, it really does do a lot for us. So now onto this week’s dose of inspiration and today’s guest Nicole Brown. As I mentioned before, Nicole is joining us. We’ve been trying to actually schedule a time of conflicting schedules. But it’s just landed so beautifully here on NAIDOC week. We’re recording at the very start NAIDOC week, and this will be released that halfway through. And so Nicole, we know, through the Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards, and also the Community Achievement Awards. Nicole has been a long standing judge for us and the Young Achiever Awards for a number of years now and was a member of our judging panel for the Community Achievement Awards. She’s a great leader in the territory and the Darwin and surrounding communities, and really, really happy and excited to welcome you today. Nicole, thank you for joining us. melisma. But you are josh. So good morning and a good day in Larrakia. Happy NAIDOC week  to you as well. I’m so glad we finally have the opportunity to catch up. Yes, thank you. Thanks for making the time. I know it’s really, really busy time for you being weak and going through some stuff at the moment up in Darwin. We are, we’ve just come out of our first lockdown. It really wasn’t foreseen, we couldn’t see it coming. And this week we would have had over 60 events on our calendar kicking off NAIDOC week in Darwin and Palmerston and rural areas. And look, it was the, yeah, it was, it’s been challenging. We’ve now as of this morning, rescheduled our events to next week, which is really, really good because it’s still a chance for the community to come together and celebrate in a safe environment. So we’ve just decided to wait for a lot of our elders, but we just, we want everybody there. So we’ve just, it was a good opportunity to come together. And in some ways, trying to find a silver lining, i suppose, NAIDOC week is going on around the country to go online, a lot of things, social media. And it gives some people a chance to extend it. A lot of ways. I wish NAIDOC week could be every week to tell you the truth. I would love to celebrate my culture each and every day of the year. And its celebrations here on Larrakia country have just grown significantly over the last few years. And I think there’s just a lot of people that are wanting to celebrate with us led by traditional owners here and down to the last year, Larrakia people laid the calendar of events and really pull it together in a really good, old fashioned community celebration. It’s really, really great to be a part of that celebration and really kind of spearhead that here. Just fantastic to see happy smiling faces out black, white, pink, yellow, all the colors of the rainbow. Everybody is out celebrating with us. Nicole, i heard an interesting question. recently, and I wanted to ask it to you as someone who maybe doesn’t identify as a first nations person or go along with those lines. And then ask, can I celebrate NAIDOC week too, what would be your response to that? Come along, you’re an ally, come and share our proud our rich history, our culture with us immerse yourselves in it, bring your children, bring your families, come and celebrate with us. We are such welcoming people and I think there is a really big movement in that reconciliation space, making sure that everyone’s on the journey together. learning from one another, educating each other. And I think that method to my madness and sharing the posts on the Linkedin platform is educating my, my followers, educating them to why we are the way we are so that they understand we’re not stereotyped, but we do have a, I guess, a traumatic history. But we also have striving to, I guess, create, are really fantastic future not only for ourselves but to bring the wider community together in that celebration. Yeah, that’s, yeah, that’s really nicely put, and I think one thing i’ve learned from over the years of getting to meet so many interesting and wonderful people in many first nations people is that exactly. You said just come along and talk to people and we all have a story and we’ve all got a story and it’s so good to be able to share their stories. One thing i’ve taken away from, I guess, judging the young achiever awards in the community achiever awards over the years. Is that those interesting stories? The ones that you don’t necessarily hear out there in the community, those people that are just really, really humble and are not up to sharing those stories. But for me and having, i guess the platform that I have to be able to, to share that is it kind of elevates it. And we get to see the success stories so much more visibly in the public. And I think that’s for me and on my own journey is about highlighting those success stories and really trying to drown out the negative narrative around indigenous people. And it is, there is just so many people out there achieving so many amazing things. And we need to celebrate that we, as the Australian community need to celebrate each and everyone’s successes differently, and one positive upside as well is that it’s becoming easier to access really great of books, podcasts, tv, and movies and things like that. And so there’s so many options this week and as you said, every week it could be NAIDOC week, if we all celebrate our culture. Oh, definitely. So I guess it empowers me as a woman to see so many inspiring women that are getting out there getting out there and really pushing the messages that they want to push. People like Muntadhar Bales, Thomas Mayer, my own boss, Marion Scrymgour. She’s running for the seat of Lingiari here in the Northern Territory, and just to say, I guess, firsthand the stuff that they’re doing on working on in their own communities. It really, it highlights purpose. It highlights people out there really, really making a difference. And for me really, I guess it warms my heart because I can see other people making a difference. And I’m like, yep, I want to be a part of this movement. And I want to make sure that my games at the top, and I’m able to bring all those along on that journey as well. And all those again of all the others that really want to be a part of conversations. And they don’t know how to do so it’s I find that it’s my place to try and introduce them or bring them to the table where the conversations are that they want to be a part of. Was that’s always been a passion of you Nicole, going back to when you were maybe a teenager or growing up or something at school? Not so much. So I spoke a lot during reconciliation week and I found my voice 10 years ago before that I was kind of just on the fence. You know, maybe turn up to things but not really participate or not really in that active space of I guess activism. But 10 years ago when I had my son and realized that, you know, he’s my future. He is our future and making sure that I needed to have a strong enough voice in order for him to see that firsthand. So that when the time comes, he’s able to use his voice. He’s able to be sitting around tables, he needs to sit out. So you can clearly identify it 10 years ago, and again, it’s my story and I own it that I didn’t really have that voice before that time. But since then, I’ve done everything that I can to really educate myself on history, really educate myself on different topics. So that when I’m able to have the conversations around tables, i can really articulate what I want to say. And I can Just be the voice for people that don’t necessarily have the voice or have the platforms. I was talking to some friends a couple of weeks ago again reconciliation week night. So coming in together, sorry day, mabo day. And I started questioning myself, you know, I’m, our question is, how can I say it’s generational trauma. So again, that was a really big topic of conversation and has been for quite some time the stolen generations and I can’t really relate to it. And that again, that’s my story. I’ve got to ask, I am not the product of a family member that’s been stolen, per se. I can go by one to at least three generations where my, my family have managed to stay together. And although i’m not so much affected by intergenerational trauma, I relate to it. I empathize with it, I can see people that have gone through that journey and they are really, really affected by it. And they don’t have a voice because of that. And I’m like, how can I be the person to help you with your journey help you find your voice or help me elevate issues onto a public stage, if you can’t. So that’s, that’s again my own lightnings, my own journey of reconciliation is those things that I don’t typically relate to or identify with, but at the same time I do feel of. Yeah, I think that’s what you touched on. That is so important for everyone in terms of, you know, coming to grips with our history as a country because for a lot of people, a history of colonialization is very celebrated. And then they can’t understand. But you know, I was that, I guess it’s three jarry for some people to think of what happened to first nations people. Well it’s, it’s something we talk about a lot, I guess, here in the Northern Territory because most of the southern states, they were the ones that were first contact. Not so much, I guess, the Northern Territory that the northern territory far North Queensland. It’s kind of North Western Australia as well. So I guess coming from that and more recently I was doing a interview with ABC on earlier in the week and it was what country you live on. And they did some statistics on it. And the Northern Territory rates are high and it was, everybody knew what country they lived on and it was because I guess, and I’m going to say here is an example. The traditional owners are so driven and  they start visible in the community that people know whose country they live on because of that visibility and coming back to that first contact again, our culture is so rich still here in the Northern Territory because we were kind of that lost untouched area. Being able to practice cultural ceremonies, still out, especially in those remote communities it’s, it’s a beautiful thing to experience. Whereas it might not actually happen down south because of the early colonisation. All kinds of difficulties and that kind of thing aside, people who haven’t been up to Darwin and the territory, I recommend it. It’s pretty magical. It really, really is. I had the opportunity to go out on my grandmother’s country late 2019 for work covering a story out there. And I said to my mom the night before, you want to come with me and it was all kind of bigger together. I couldn’t sleep the night before we were meant to go and tossing and turning in bed and kind of messaging her and going, Oh, you know, I’m not sure if I’m going to go tomorrow. I could go the next day or I’m going to be tired. It’s a good three hours drive. She said, no, no, let’s go and go to my social media for my one hour of Social media in the morning and going through my facebook memories. And it was the 20th anniversary of my grandmother’s death that day. So it was kind of like, oh this is meant to be like, we need to get out there on to her country. I haven’t been there for twenty three years, 1997. So her 20th anniversary of her passing and driving out, it was just surreal. The feelings, the emotions get kind of all came flooding to me and telling my mom who’s sitting beside me. I’m like, I’m crying, happy tears. And I really can’t tell you why. So we’re out at this, this event that was taking place and it really kind of hit home that one hundred and a hundred and fifty years ago. Someone with the same blood as me was walking out here . Could I be walking in their footsteps and yeah, I mean, I still get goosebumps tuesday thinking about it, and it made me really, really reflects, i was out on country away from everyone. And at that time I figured I was really close to burnout. I was kind of being pulled in every direction imaginable. The token person on this board or the token person on that committee and really pulled in every direction and I reflected and really thought about my purpose. And again, my journey, my, my ancestors, you know, whispering in my, you’ve got to be a strong leader, you’ve got to be here for your people, you’ve got to be their voice. And again, that reflection. So I jumped off those boards and it really made me think about my purpose and where I can add value to the world. So I came back and if people want to work with me, they’re going to get me a youth, women, and economic prosperity for people in country. That’s where I could talk all day every day about those three subjects. And I think that’s, that’s my passion. Really saying the youth is our future generations. We may, again, as a woman feel empowered, ensuring that younger women are able to be given opportunities that they might not necessarily given. And just being really passionate about seeing the success of I guess, business or seeing that economic prosperity on country for people that live on their as their subject matter, experts in art, culture, music, life, food, everything, it is to be an indigenous person. You know, I never considered that how taxing that would be, how I’m getting, what you’re saying about being pulled in the direction of being as you put it, the token, those on those boards. Because I guess would be so many times that those different boards are looking at you solely because we believe there should be multiple experts. Definitely, and I think that’s the journey that I’m on now, is making sure that others around me feel that empowered and that inspired, i guess what I’m doing. I’ve got a couple of young people that I mentor and they’re starting to put their hands up. Now, how can we do what you do? And it really, I guess again it fuels my heart to see them wanting it because that’s what I wanted . I’ve got some really great mentors above me that really, really push me to smash that glass ceiling as they say. But more so smash the glass ceiling and bring others along with me. I quite often use this analogy that right now where I am on my journey in my life, i’m on a train that’s going full speed ahead. And what I’m trying to do is just pull as many people onto this train as possible. I feel really, really good, and I’m in a really good space and I want others to feel it. I want others to know that there’s so many of us around that are there are there for you to come to for guidance, reach out for support and really walk ahead together and that again, it doesn’t matter what color you are. I’ve got so many non-indigenous people that reach out to me again on a daily basis just to check in and go, hey, I’m working on this or i’ve just done this and I just wanted to get your opinion on it. I’m really happy to provide that opinion because they directly benefit from it . You know, you really spot on. It would be really hard to try and do these things for yourself . And I would acknowledge that you had mentors that are helping you, but then push through and smash the glass ceiling. As you said, know, it’s just so much better to bring those people with you.. My biggest driver is, is my ten year old Nick Monday, he watches everything that I do, he comes to everything with me. He’s so proud to work alongside. We sat down at a survival day event in January, January, the twenty six, and it was again, I always try to pop behind the scenes, but never really went to something like that. And it is a touchy subject. I live in the two worlds. I’ve got a non-indigenous father and you know it’s a hard one to navigate, but at the same time I really thought it was time to participate and bring him along to something like this. And he was questioning me. There was a speaker speaking to my mum what’s resilience. You know, he’s starting to question his place in this world and I really hope and that he can see what I’m doing. I guess it’s making an impact for him. Yeah, for sure. And I can attest to that, that you bring him everywhere because of the community last year. There he was a conference like reasonably couldn’t go to school that day or something. Maybe he wasn’t feeling the best. He wasn’t feeling the best, but he was quite happy to come along and provide his input. That was good. I remember that actually. Yeah. At some point during the night he was there because he was so quiet. And then I think he got involved with the lots of juggling. It’s a juggling act. I’m a single mother and it is, it is hard to have it all, but you can, you know, with really, I guess good planning really good support systems around you. I’m really, really fortunate to have family here who really support my dreams. So, you know, being able to do everything that I love is really, really down to my mother. She’s, she is my boss. Yeah. One of my biggest inspirations as well. Having three children living out or living room, being an entrepreneur, it really kind of set the bar for me. It showed me that I could be, could be and could do whatever I wanted to do. He sounds like an absolute legend. And so you mentioned earlier, your mother’s country and your grandmother’s country where is that? Daly river, which is just south of Darwin. Beautiful home of the Malik Malik people. I often share their stories on my social media as well, and they’re just doing fantastic things out there. I went to the northern land council and we’ve got a really good range of programs out there and a few females as well. So one of them, she’s just become a fisheries fisheries licensing inspector. So she’s able to go out on patrol and question people out on her country who may have gotten over the bag limits of fish and, and might not be doing the right thing on the water on her country. So again, that’s that empowerment and back in March 2020,  three days before our country was locked down, I was meant to fly to New York to speak at the United Nations with a couple of the rangers from the remote communities who’d never left the Northern Territory to be able to take them straight over to New York, would have been an amazing experience. Covid played its part in that. But again, it’s that, that journey that I, I’m very fortunate to be on. I’m very fortunate to go to a lot of things and I want others to be able to experience that as well as I did my applications got funding for for them to come. And yeah, three days the, the unforeseen happened and coronavirus was knocking on our door. You know, dealing with it since then, and obviously you’re dealing with it now. We are Yeah. It’s been a, it’s been a wild ride and I guess where I’m at in my life right now is an emerging leader in my community. It’s really good to now be getting out to schools to talking about lots and lots of different things and really having people i’ve had younger, younger people reach out to me after those talks and want to be a part of things. I want to be a part of projects. How can I be involved with this? How can I be involved in that? And again, it warms my heart just to see them finding their place in the world. It’s a bit of an aside bit of a problem. But one thing that really interested me, you’re talking about the young person who is now working in the fisheries licensing and things like that. And something like mine as recently as to how people interact with the country in their own country was daniel motlop who’s got whole things a distillery compared to the gene and I was reading about it was so interesting and is maybe with seven seasons. And I was reading about how those up in Northern Territory, seven seasons. That’s right. So Daniel’s Larrakia man, his grandmother and my great grandmother are sisters. Oh my goodness. Yeah. So inspiration must run in the family, the power player and been, and I just think he’s a really good entrepreneurial mind as well because he’s been in the business since he started and all of their fantastic sales model that of the and seasons we’re in a at the moment so it’s the beautiful dry season when the clouds are high and they say that our old people used to call that cold wimpier. So it’s again just a beautiful place to be. We’re not cold, but we’re not hot. And I think that’s why we’ve got a lot of tourists here. Well, so yeah, look to have people like that as successful entrepreneurs that we can really, I guess, relate to. And I did a bit in that entrepreneurship coat design, last year with a company called Young Change Agents out of Melbourne. And it was going around talking to young kids in schools about entrepreneurship as another pathway, post-secondary education. And what we found was that young kids, especially ones couldn’t relate to entrepreneurship as I guess you and I think it is. But then if you started talking about people like Daniel, like I used to play for in Port Adelaide and then I realised, yep, he’s an entrepreneur. He has a business at the serialize of the boat and Nova Paris, Jessica Mauboy. They could relate to figures in the community that were quite high profile, who you and I wouldn’t think is a business, but their brand is actually their business. So, you know, talking to these young people and saying again, you are the subject matter experts of your song. So Jessica Mauboy of your culture, Daniel Motlop for for Sports, Nova Paris is going on to being a successful senator in the Australian Federal Parliament. We’ve got so many successful role models in every sector. You can possibly think of that serving as those role models for our young people. And what we need to do, I guess, at our community level, is really highlight that participation in the community to encourage young people to strive to be the best versions of themselves. Yes, I couldn’t agree more and that’s, I guess I’ll leave that now to the young achievable. That’s what the they will look at that is just giving a platform for young people. And again, regardless of their background or anything along those lines, we just put them up on a platform because one thing that we feel and that Geoff, my dad and director, what Australia is passionate about is that the truly negative and negative stereotypes and negative stories. And the best way to combat that is just to show, you know, these are the good stories. Yeah, I’m actually not the exception. These are very common. And terrific. Now it’s fantastic. Having had the privilege of judging the awards over the last couple of years throughout the year, I’m constantly on the lookout for those emerging talents and it’s up to us to tap them on the shoulder and say, hey, we really think you’re doing an amazing job. I think you should nominate for something like this, whether it be young achievers, whether it be community achievers, it’s really up to us to do it. Because they might just be, you know, flying under the radar, just not thinking what they’re doing is good enough. But in reality it is. Yeah, definitely agree. I think this is weird. I think maybe because of social media and influences and a I guess culture, people who think all young people just want to join or that’s actually not accurate . It’s just, there are some people and you said before they use their brand as their business, but again, there’s a small but a very small minority. Most people are just going about their lives. What they think is just has to be done, other people do. And that’s incredible. I shared an article last week and it was about imposter syndrome. And I feel like that sometimes i’m like, am I again treating my own home too much? Am I oversharing? Am I trying to show you that I’m the best of the best of the best and it’s, I don’t think like that I want to share things that I’m doing in the hope that it does a lot of spark in someone if I can help just one person who just may not be feeling right. Again, I share a lot. I share a lot of inspirational quotes and I’ve had people contact me and they’re like, you know, that’s just what I needed today. I just needed to read something that you have shared and I’ve had others that have loved you and are actually just log on to see what you share. Because it’s like, I guess I am subscribing to so many different kinds of news sites or areas that really interest me to be able to share that, I think with the thousands of people that are on my platforms, it does it’s, it’s bringing them together and it’s that education. It’s the, you know, this is this person doing amazing things. You may not have thought was doing amazing things, but let’s share it and let’s, let’s get that, that narrative out there. Yeah, that’s one of the reasons I logged in to Linked in is to see your profile. Oh, I’ve had feedback to like sort of opposite that this isn’t, this shouldn’t be on this social media go and post this on Facebook, post it somewhere else. And I’m like, I look to see if we’re actually connected on that. We’re not even connected. You know, why are you commenting on that? You know, I feel that I’m posting really, really good Stuff and people that want to read it, read it. If you don’t want to read it, don’t, don’t comment on it. But I think it’s, it’s doing more good than anything else. The way I view Linkedin is yes, it’s a professional platform. But if you think about workplaces, there’s obviously private sector, community sector, all of it. And so it’s a place for everyone. And what you see is not, not the timing i’m sharing, i’m sharing my passions. So if people want to be a part of this journey with me and really be immersed in all things that I’m passionate about following me on my linkedin, there is just so much good out there in the world as so many people doing good and again, it’s the allies who want to be a part of those conversations that I’m trying to bring together, that we’ve gone off on a tangent and I did have scribbled a note quickly. I do ask you another question because I just don’t want to forget. So I love what you do with him and bring him along to events, and youtouched on that already. What’s been, he’s said he’s learning in these, asking all these interesting questions. Now have you seen any examples of him kind of doing things like wow, that’s fantastic or I guess is what you’re showing him is that kind of infiltrating now through to his friends and people his age? Kindness I’m seeing come out in him, a bit more self awareness, he can see me out, I guess talking in front of the public and he’s put his hand up now. So he’s done a few welcome to countries to some event that he’s been invited to last year we were, I was on my way to the National Indigenous Music Awards. So I was meant to speak and he came along with me. Had to have a suit. So we had to go in the first suit that day. Yep. In the car, he’s like mum, I actually want to speak with you. Ok. So I got to the event about half an hour before it started and changing my speech to suit the both of us and we’ve set it and there was somebody I think it might have been on social media. So it was broadcast, live on Facebook, live or something and I had his great grandmother asked me, she’s like, would you pinching him on the leg to turn the page for you when you needed to turn it? And I said no, it was actually reading along with me in the speech. Not only would he, I guess, read his highlighted part, but he knew exactly in the speech when he had to turn the page. Seeing him come down to survival day and hand out the bottle of water without being asked. You know, he was running around asking everyone because it was such a hot day. Do you need water? Are you ok? Just wanting more, last 2020,  do we have it last year, no, 2019, so we had a junior ranger camp and again I said my dad’s a ranger out on country. Beautiful time to be a ranger in country, Hill Country. So he had the opportunity to take 40 young people out camping over three days and it was their junior ranger camp. It was just, it was just beautiful, being our own country and he was sharing it with every different nationality. You could think of. It wasn’t just an indigenous specific camp for young indigenous kids. We had African kids, Chinese kids, just kids from his school, kids from local communities, really participating in traditional activities. So traditional fire burning methods, learning how to three is we took them out on boats to an island where they got to play with little turtle hatchlings with researchers that were out on the islands and on our way back and to this day, we don’t know whether it was true or not, but we were making our way back through darwin harbour and suddenly a submarine emerged. And the joke was, did my dad call and plan this for the all the kids that were on the boat because they were all waving at the submarine and just being able to again, keep the spot in our young people about where they are in life, their journey and yes, keeping them engaged in what’s happening in their community and really keeping them involved. So that’s something that I see his role has struggled a little bit with learning difficulties. And I don’t think he’s going to be the engineer the rocket scientist or the doctor, but he’s going to be the hands on person. The one again, that’s in the community, bringing people together that need to be together. You must be a very proud mom. Nicole. I am, I couldn’t think of anybody else i’d rather be doing life with just an amazing little human. And again, it’s that that’s the reason to get up every single day. Yeah, I don’t listen to a parenting podcast, but you’re spot on because it’s it’s incredible when you forget any of the challenge you talked about the challenges of being single mom would be. So I personally can’t even imagine how difficult that would be raising a child by yourself, not by yourself. Obviously you’ve got, you’ve got an army in support, is quite challenging. You want to say hi to this podcast. Not today. You got in there on your left. You want to have a quick talk. Hi. Hi, that’s Josh. And that’s Josh. How are you doing what you’re doing? We’ve met twice through a screen. Yeah. Look, hopefully guys can get up to Darwin soon. Yeah, I’m looking out our mall at the moment. It’s lunchtime here and there’s just people kind of everywhere. Yeah. So it’s a good, good feeling here. Yeah. Yeah. You mentioned before, your country obviously being the theme of this year’s NAIDOC week. I just wondered if you’d be happy to talk about that, what that means to you? I take two interpretations of Hill country, Hill country, I guess in that typical sense of caring for your country. We’re going to, I guess, keep the planet well. But then I also did a lot of thinking and another healing country. You know, I also feel at this time in the face of adversity, in the face of this pandemic that I’ve learnt a lot from people. So healing as a country, healing as humanity, being kinder to one another, being more in tune to everything around you. I draw from that as well. So I know that when we talk about Hill country, country as a country, as a person country, as a feeling, being so connected to country, i was really, really fortunate back in 2018 to work really closely with the can Country rangers, which are based about 20 minutes outside of Darwin, i went over there as a women’s ranger mentor, and if you’d asked me before that, if I’d been lost in the bush, would I have survived,  no. You know, I learned a lot from those ladies in six months that I with traditional owners also rangers, and I had to find water. If I was looking at the colors of the tree line, what foods i could, could and couldn’t eat. It really made me understand the importance of country a project that I worked on while I was over there was the repatriation of skeletal remains and they performed a ceremony to reinterred those remains into the ground and it was just beautiful to, I guess watch them calling out to their elders just to know that these, these remains were back on country and to look after them. So there is such a strong spiritual connection. I often tell people as, as a first nations person, you go down to one of our beautiful beaches here and down. Take your shoes off your foot, your feet firmly into the ground and just listen. All right, electronics, just listen, listen to the birds. Listen to the wind, listen to our old people there. If you listen hard enough, so country that connection is it is beautiful and again we spoke about it earlier that connection to my grandmother’s country knowing that one hundred and fifty years ago, someone with the same blood as me walked, maybe in the footsteps that I was walking, i don’t know, but so much emotion just came over me so much pride in my community so much pride to see what was happening out there and everyone playing their parts of the Hill country theme is really, really exciting. And I’ve been really fortunate to see it all start bubbling over social media yesterday, which was day one of NAIDOC week. And it was just, it’s beautiful to see. Again, those first nation and non first nations people really wanting to understand what their role was to Hill country. I think that’s really good advice and just going back a little bit what you said about putting your feet. And especially, i think that we could all do that more, couldn’t we just anywhere we are in nature or just anywhere, take a minute and take a minute to just be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of your, your contribution to this cause, you know, we as, as rangers in the workplace know, we’re looking at New innovative ways with carbon projects to help with carbon emissions and how we can help again, looking back at the devastating fires a couple of years ago how we as first nations people can be around the table, where there’s decisions made for back burning, or how can we implement indigenous first nations practices into the burning activities on countries to help mitigate those really big bushfires The voice, the voice, the voice, the momentum is growing, know people are turning to first nations, people as subject matter experts for everything you can imagine, to make sure that the voices being heard that the input has been counted. And it’s sparking conversations that should have happened years and years ago. It’s, it is just so important that people that have had the connection to country for sixty five thousand plus years ahead. Yeah, definitely. And whilst there’s been a lot of less than ideal things going on, it is really nice now to see people putting that emphasis on culture, recognizing Australia as a really rich, beautiful culture. There are some hard stuff along the way, but yeah, I just need to never forget the thinking back to my youth as a teenager. And I think I’ve said on this podcast once before that someone from another country , I wish Australia has an interesting culture like you, I just didn’t realise and then you learn, oh my God, we’ve got the oldest living culture in the world. It’s just a beautiful thing. I don’t think I learnt a lot about it at school, like, I don’t recall, but now there’s such a big push for indigenous culture to be put into schools to be, I guess, more, more showcased across a wide stream media to just really everyone in every kind of pathway possible being innovative enough to go, how can we inject indigenous and culture and everything that we do in our everyday lives in our business life and our education and our health? How can we have some kind of perspective linking back to first nations people? Yeah, yeah. Before we press record on this today, you asked me, did I know where, what country i was on and not too long ago I was I was, I guess, encouraged to, to find out by one of our guests Jess Manuella. So people can find an episode probably probably a month ago now. So poorly. I should have that at hand. Anyway. Yeah, she asked me that question too. And so I was glad that I looked it up and I had the answer for you because I wouldn’t have known. And so I guess one thing that people could do to connect In their own lives is just to find out where, where they are. And you find out and be proud of more often than not. I’ll use Donna’s example. You work with someone who’s a Larrakia person. You know someone within your family who is not your direct family is married to a Larrakia person and your kids go to school with Larrakia people. It’s just amazing. We’ve got so much happening here in that recognition space and having traditional owners like our nation driving that it was, was in a board meeting one day and it was brought up. We can’t drive to work without going past our Larrakia nation car. So visible and I think that’s why I was so lucky to have people so aware of their own. Yes, yes. Well, before we wrap up, I did want to ask you, you touched on talking about your mom being an inspiration, but I do want to ask you who inspires you and you might want to talk more about her, but who was in your life. Maybe his past or currently who inspires you, Nicole? Look again my mom, my son, people like my current boss Marion Scrymgour, one of my best friends from little people days Noriaki who’s going on to be the speaker of the legislative assembly of the Northern Territory. There are just so many out there and again, being able to be part of people’s journeys. It just inspires me to want more. Yeah, it’s a spark in me to inspire the next gen to reach for the stars. Well, you’re doing a great job because in all truth, you are one person who inspires me. That’s for sure, Nicole. Thank you. I think that you’ll inspire other people with today’s episode too, which is why I want to ask, where can people connect you to hear the stories that involve you. My platform that I connect with publicly is Linkedin. Not so much any other kind of Social media channels. It’s, I share my own stories on Linkedin as well as everything else that interests me. Yeah. So on Linkedin, encourage everyone to search Nicole Brown MAICD. And I see to connect with Nicole actually well, what does it stands for? Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. I didn’t know that. So I’m always saying that I’ve never heard of Australia. Everyone, please go and connect with to Nicole. Go and celebrate NAIDOC week. I think this is going to air towards the end of the week, but over the weekend there’s plenty of ways you can get involved with the event and jump on the NAIDOC website, wanting some inspiration and check out Nicole;s Linkedin because there are heap of stuff on there as well. Can I leave you with this, reach out as first nations people again proud of our culture to all of our allies that they just reach out. If you’ve got questions, ask and we’re so welcoming, we’re always willing and able to help. Yeah, this is some advice I got actually from an American, this is last year in the midst of the b you know, how can we support you? And the answer was to amplify black voices. Yeah. And I’ve really taken that on board ever since. And I encourage everyone to do the same and even you could, you could expand that is to say, multicultural voices. Because I think our first nation voice is a very, very important and also in some other ways. Other cultures have been a bit maligned in the right light, so that would be my only last a little bit as well. Thank you so much for having me today. And I’m sorry it’s taken so long to finally do it, but yeah, I agree. It couldn’t be a, couldn’t have been a bit of time to catch up and chat. And we always knew we were going to find the time was just a matter of getting that time down. Thank you.