Evolve Communities: Bridging the Gap Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians

Evolve Communities: Bridging the Gap Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians

Evolve Communities is at the forefront of fostering understanding and collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Founded by Aunty Munya Andrews, an Aboriginal Elder from the Kimberley region, and Carla Rogers, Evolve aims to cultivate a kinder, more inclusive society through education and engagement.

Beyond Compliance: Genuine Connections

Evolve Communities offers cultural awareness training that transcends mere compliance, aiming instead to forge genuine connections and foster appreciation for Indigenous cultures. By equipping individuals and organizations with the knowledge and skills needed for informed allyship, Evolve promotes a deeper understanding of the history, challenges, and contributions of Indigenous communities.

“We need the support of non-Indigenous allies because quite frankly, we are a minority in Australian society,” Aunty Munya explains. “At Evolve, we talk about the one and 30 principle, which is based on the fact that the Indigenous population of Australia is estimated to be just 3.2 percent. In practical terms, this means in a small gathering, like a meeting or a classroom, only one person is likely to be either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.”

The Journey of Allyship

Carla Rogers emphasizes that allyship is a continuous journey of learning from Indigenous wisdom, personal growth, humility, and respect. “We talk about how much we have to learn from First Nations people and communities and wisdom,” she says. “Being an ally is a journey of self-growth, learning, humility, and respect. Part of allyship is making lots of mistakes, learning from them, and being open to feedback.”

Rogers underscores the importance of everyday actions in embracing allyship. “The first thing we can all do is to educate ourselves,” she advises. “But every day, there’s something we can do as an act of allyship. Simple things like acknowledging country and finding your connection to country are essential.”

Education at the Core

Education is central to Evolve’s mission, aiming to dispel stereotypes, combat prejudice, and support reconciliation efforts. Rogers’ vision goes beyond knowledge to promote deeper understanding, respect, and joint progress toward a shared future. Her initiatives in educating and mobilizing non-Indigenous Australians highlight effective strategies for easing the cultural burden on Indigenous communities.

The Evolve website offers a wealth of resources for allies, including the “Seven Steps to Practical Reconciliation and Allyship.” Rogers’ personal journey as a non-Indigenous ally adds a significant perspective to discussions on reconciliation.

“It started at a pretty young age,” she recalls. “I was about four or five, and I loved the bush. I used to feel the presence of Aboriginal peoples and was confused about why I didn’t see them more on TV or in my community. When I began working with Indigenous communities, I was conscious of making mistakes, saying or doing the wrong thing. Educating myself increased my confidence. You never stop learning how to be an ally.”

Ask Aunty: Open Dialogue and Support

Aunty Munya and Carla Rogers also host a segment called “Ask Aunty,” where they address questions about supporting Indigenous communities. Available on their website and social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok, “Ask Aunty” provides a space for open dialogue and learning.

In summary, Evolve Communities stands as a beacon of hope and progress, bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Through education, engagement, and genuine connection, Evolve is paving the way for a more inclusive and understanding society. For more information and resources, visit the Evolve Communities website and join the journey towards reconciliation and allyship.

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Source: https://nit.com.au/31-05-2024/11674/Championing-reconciliation-through-education-and-allyship

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