Strategies to Face Adversity: Role Models

Role models were important to many participants and played a major role in many individuals being able to face and overcome the many adversities they had to face during their lives.

“I guess our role models were our parents and some other family members. We have an older cousin who has always worked in health, she is a nurse and has always worked in the hospital. She was and still is great role model for us. Three of my aunties, and one uncle as well, have set a good example and live happy and healthy lives.”

Unknown-2Role models are important in any culture. Having someone whom you can admire and whose example you can follow is important. The support of an individual is also encouraging for someone who is facing adversity.

Every participant spoke of an individual role model, and how these individuals encouraged and supported them through adversities and challenges they faced throughout their life. For some participants, it was their parents, an uncle or an aunt, or another family member. For others, it was a schoolteacher or employer and, of course, some individuals were non-Aboriginal people.

Many participants interviewed spoke of the non-Aboriginal person who made a difference in their lives:

“He was a white man and I guess he was the only white person I ever came to trust. Being older I looked up to him as sort of a role model.”

When speaking of his uncle one participant stated:

“He is someone I came to respect umm, yeah he is a positive umm, a positive role model, yeah, that’s what he is.”

Another participant had more than one role model:

“I had some very good role models. Umm, I also took advantage of the opportunities that were offered to me.”

A number of participants spoke of their mother as being a role model for them:

“Mum was a very strong role model in that she didn’t drink or smoke”.

One participant believed his mother was very resilient:

“I guess that experience influenced me in that sense of resilience because my mother I guess was very resilient.”

Other participants believed both parents were good role models as well as some other family members:

“I guess our role models were our parents and some other family members. We have an older cousin who has always worked in health, she is a nurse and has always worked in the hospital. She was and still is great role model for us. Three of my aunties, and one uncle as well, have set a good example and live happy and healthy lives.”

Another participant who was removed from her family at the age of four and after two or three negative relationships was finally successful. She spoke of her husband’s support, not only to her but to her children:

“He was a good role model for me and my boys. He taught us all so much.”

Role models were important to many participants and played a major role in many individuals being able to face and overcome the many adversities they had to face during their lives. For most participants, their mothers were their role models. Others gave credit to other family members and for some their role models were non-Aboriginal teachers, employers and friends.

Speak Your Mind

*


9 + = 17