Our Rising Stars
|A positive contribution
It has taken Lynne Beames six decades of life experience to find her calling, but she reckons that working closely with Indigenous communities is where her heart is.
Recently winning the prestigious $10,000 2009 Wi-Ali Indigenous Masters Scholarship is the icing on the cake for this 61-year-old South Grafton Master of Indigenous Studies student, at Southern Cross University¿s Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Education.
The inaugural scholarship is part of Southern Cross University's Rising Stars Scholarships program and was sponsored by a new Tasmanian donor, Liz Hamilton, who offered the scholarship after a member of the SCU Foundation Board mentioned to her the work that Gnibi was doing in Indigenous communities through its Healing Circle project.
Lynne has a very interesting background in mediation, family dispute resolution and criminology, having also worked in a variety of jobs including in retail, as a hotel manager and as a veterinary nurse.
Lynne has worked with the Gurehlgam Corporation, under the Aboriginal Family and Wellbeing Service in Coffs Harbour, as a contact officer for families experiencing relationship difficulties.
This year she also set up a Grafton program called Real Relationships, working with troubled families and individuals experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
Lynne identifies with the Wiradjuri people from mid-western NSW, and only recently discovered her Aboriginal ancestry.
"I grew up in Sydney's western suburbs, leaving school at 14. I always felt different to other people, but didn't know why. Our Aboriginal ancestry was something never discussed or even hinted at by my family," Lynne said.
"But after a visit to Uluru, which so moved me, I knew I had to investigate to see if I had any Aboriginal forebears and, as it turned out, I did - on both sides of the family. It really helped me to sort out a lot of things about myself.
"Now what I want to do is to give something back to the Aboriginal community. My goal is to work with Indigenous people on remote communities, helping to empower them. It would be a real honour and privilege to be involved in that kind of work.
"Aboriginal people can achieve anything they want to, given the right support and opportunity. But what is different for them is having to deal with the consequences of intergenerational trauma and grief, which can often hinder their recovery.
"That is where the knowledge I am gaining through my Master of Indigenous Studies degree will really equip me with the skills needed to make a positive contribution to the lives of Indigenous people."
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