Marion’s Story: Introduction

Dr. Marion Kickett tells her Story, to help the reader understand her background and why she undertook her PhD research on resilience.

As an Aboriginal person it is important for me to explain where I am from and how I am connected. This is something that we as Aboriginal people do throughout this great country of ours. It is important for other Aboriginal people to know where you are from and how you are connected or linked.

Our Aboriginality is something we are proud of, not in a verbal sense, but in a lived way. It’s a good place to be.”  (Franchesca Cubillo, 2001)

Unknown-3This is my story as a Noongar, an Aboriginal person from the south west of Western Australia. My story is about my Aboriginality ‘in a lived way’.

As an Aboriginal person it is important for me to explain where I am from and how I am connected. This is something that we as Aboriginal people do throughout this great country of ours. It is important for other Aboriginal people to know where you are from and how you are connected or linked. Therefore, it is important to me that the reader of my research understands my background.

The information presented in this chapter – My Story – should help the reader understand why this topic is important to me as a researcher. This chapter also provides the reader with a comprehensive understanding of my relationship with the research. Ultimately, the data will assist the reader to understand how I came to my conclusions that emerge from the data analysis.

I place My Story upfront as I wished to reveal to the reader how I embedded myself in this research over many years. I also wanted to explain the impossibility of bracketing my life from my eventual analysis of data. It is my intention to provide the reader with this story and add to the trustworthiness of my findings. My story is from an Aboriginal knowledge position (Arbon, 2009).

This chapter also reflects what drove me to conduct such a research project, and I believe it answers the questions often asked of me throughout my working life:

  • Why are you so successful when so many other Aboriginal people are not?
  • Why are you able to hold down a good job and do it well and others of your culture are unable to?
  • Why are you able to live as a white person and others of your kind are unable to?

The chapter finishes by addressing the concerns of many Aboriginal people who state that: Aboriginal people are unable to live in two cultures successfully.

Many individuals find it difficult to adapt to a western way of life. They try to hold on to what they believe is the Aboriginal way of life. There are others who are unable to bring their Aboriginal way of doing things with them, they find it difficult to remain within and stay involved in the Aboriginal community. Therefore, many state it is too difficult to live in two cultures successfully. You are either Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal.

To talk about my Aboriginality, I must first start with my Dreaming. I say Dreaming rather than Dreamtime. Why?

Because the word Dreamtime gives the impression that it is finite. Whereas the word Dreaming has a continuum. It is not a set period but continues with me throughout my life. My Dreaming is the past, present and future and it includes everything.

My Story will unfold throughout seven important headings: My Country, My Family, My Identity, My Spirituality, My Culture, My Education and finally My Resilience.

> My Country

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