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Traditional Lessons


Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend time with some amazing people. These included an author, a musician, a yoga instructor, a business manager, an offshore rig worker, a journalist, a teacher, an ex-prison guard, three wonderful Noongar people, just to name a few. They range from 18 to 68 and were from 7 different countries. And they were all my teachers.

I met these 20 people whilst doing a 3 day course called ‘The Rites of Passage’, which was founded and is run by Dr Arne Rubenstein. The amazing thing about this course is that you learn from not only the course program and Arne, but by the people you attend with and from their stories. This is something we should do more of everyday.

We all had several things in common. We were all there to make a difference in other people’s lives, but more importantly we all had our own story. Our stories, our past, our journey in life make us who we are today. On hearing the stories from the people on this course, from where they came from to where they are today, was truly inspiring.

Sometimes you have to learn the same lesson over and over again before it finally sinks in. And though I think I am pretty good when it comes to being open to people, I still fall into that old habit thinking that people have always had their shit together. Listening to people’s stories over that weekend again reinforced that everyone has a history and a story to tell.

I feel very blessed I was able to attend ‘The Rites of Passage’ and learned some wonderful lessons through the course, but I probably learned more from the people I attended with. They were all my mentors and I specially got a kick from two groups within our team.

The first was the young people who attended. It was refreshing to see these amazing individuals who were so open, vulnerable, strong and willing to put themselves out there. Their vision and passion and their stories and by spending time and chatting with them allowed me to learn more about me...so thank you.

The other group of people who are really enjoyed spending time with was the Noongar people. Even though I have always respected our traditional landowners and their history, I have never really understood their connection they have. I loved spending time and talking to them about their people and their connection with country. So it wasn’t only their individual story that I learnt from, it was also their people’s story.

By sharing their connection to country, I feel I have also connected to country even more. By listening and understanding some of the aboriginal traditions and stories I believe it will not only bring us all closer together, we as individuals will also connect better with our land, our nation, our families and ourselves. I can’t wait to learn more from these wonderful people.

To those people who allowed me to share a bit of me, but more importantly to share a part of you with me, I am truly grateful. If everyone did this, the would would be full of love, compassion and understanding. Thank you for being the leaders in this frontier.