Photo: Panellists and attendees of the I Am Change event, October 2018.

NCIE hosted another inspirational event for women, I Am Change, which was organised by the very inspirational Barkindji woman Dixie Crawford, Director of Source Nation.

I am Change was an excellent and exciting opportunity for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women to share stories and wisdom of their individual journeys of leadership.

Drawing on the NAIDOC theme, Because Of Her We Can, Dixie was supported by some extremely deadly women, who delivered some very wise, very funny, and very serious perspectives.

Bundjalung and Goenpul woman and PHD Candidate and Community Educator , Mareese Terare delivered the opening address, The Woman I Am, where she told her story through the story of the women in her life– family, activists, local women – who made her what she is and guided her in the choices she made.

“Fearlessness love truth connectedness, sisterhood and sharing is what made me. Acknowledgement and deep appreciation is a bit alien to some women so it’s important to grab it. Stay strong.”

Telling the impostor who’s boss

The panel discussion, following Mareese’s story, engaged with a range of topics like Courage and Decision Making, Cultural Integrity, and finally,  in funny and heartfelt ways,  with the topic of dealing with the “Impostor syndrome” – where you feel like you’re a fake, that you don’t deserve your success. It’s unfortunately very common and can have the effect of limiting what you believe you can do.

The panellists:
• Ashlee Donohue: Dunghutti woman, Author, Educator, and Anti-Violence Advocate
• Julie Trell – American Woman, Head of muru-D and SheEO Australian Country Lead
• Barbie-Lee Kirby – Ngiyambaa woman, Manager of Corporate Governance at Qantas and NASCA Director;
all talked through their approaches to managing impostor syndrome.

Ashlee: “If I hear myself saying ‘why am I big noting myself?’ I remind myself, I have been through this, I do know what I’m talking about. I tell my truth and I am authentic. Stay in your truth. It’s ok to achieve.”

Julie: “I look at my job and think – how am I here? But I call myself a human API -I’m a connector, I put together people who need to be connected. I don’t have to know it all. And that’s ok. Asking questions is ok.”

Barbie-Lee: “Sometimes workplaces can start to turn you into someone else, that can start to overtake you, and that can lead to self-doubt. Stay true to yourself. It’s important to evolve but don’t become someone else. I started being myself and stopped living up to other peoples’ expectations.”

Dixie: “I acknowledge and name my impostor – her name is Rhonda! – when I feel she’s at the table with me. And then I say, now watch me thrive! And then I just keep going with what I know I can do.

Dixie and Source Nation will host more I am Change events across NSW next year. NCIE was proud to have been here for the first!

Check out more on NCIE Facebook.