Lowana Riddiford proudly shares her story as we celebrate NAIDOC Week
Townsville employee Lowana Riddiford recently delivered the Acknowledgement of Country at Aurizon’s 2020 Annual General Meeting. Lowana proudly shares her story as we celebrate NAIDOC Week.
I recently had the honour of delivering the Acknowledgement of Country at Aurizon’s 2020 Annual General Meeting, which I’d like to share:
Gawaymbanha, Wula. (Welcome, All)
I am Lowana Riddiford. I am Wiradjuri.
Firstly, on behalf of Aurizon, I acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal peoples, Traditional Owners of the land we meet on today. I pay my respects to their Elders both past and present. I would also like to extend our respects to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that may be present today.
My tribal totem is Gugaa (Lace Lizard—yellow and black striped Goanna).
My family totem is Dinawan (Emu), taken from my Grandmother.
My Aboriginal name is Nguruwiny(Young emu). That name was given to me by my father.
Around my neck, I wear my wah-lang, my totem stone which has come from the gut of an emu found near my Grandmother’s birthplace.
Most importantly I am a mother of five children, and also helping to raise my late brothers two sons. Aboriginal communities have particularly strong family values and raising a child is everybody's responsibility including their care, discipline and education. Aboriginal families rely on and nurture strong family ties as a means of passing on their cultural beliefs from one generation to the next. Traditional family structures remain important in our communities today.
One of the strongest cultural stories from my Wiradjuri Elders is that of the emu egg.
If an emu egg is cracked from the outside, a life is lost.
If that emu egg is allowed to crack from the inside, life begins.
Aurizon, I believe you as a company gave me that opportunity to crack from the inside – you believed in me, supported me, and allowed me to grow and develop into who I am today, a proud Aurizon employee, member of the Indigenous Reference Group, and a proud Aboriginal woman.
I, Nguruwiny thank you for that. And for allowing me to present the Acknowledgement of Country today.