Welcome to the first blog within the ‘Culture Today’ series. This is a chance to explore the importance of Culture’s presence in the world today. There are so many different levels of knowing culture and within that connecting with its meaning and direction on a deeper level. This series of blogs will provide a brief insight to a range of culture connected people throughout Australia that are using the aspects of their knowledge within the world we live in today and reaping the positive benefits. This is a great resource for people trying to understand why culture is needed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are struggling within a ‘white’ world. We must remember and respect that culture was stripped of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia to the point where it was criminal to practice and resulted in mass murdering’s and individual killings. This cultural genocide occurred for over 200 years and has left many Indigenous people of this country not knowing anything about their culture at worst, nothing.
For those that were able to keep it alive have been and are teaching it today to their best ability, not all customs or cultural practices have been lost but most have or have been damaged to some extent. A lot of our culture has been asleep for many years and it is starting to rise again. It’s a connection like nothing that provides a deep understanding of self and reveals life’s path so that you are able to align yourself with your purpose and learn life’s teachings along the way.
The term culture todays seems like an independent term that is only functional in a traditional sense that is almost outdated and cannot be relevant in today’s worldly dealings.
Each individual within this series will have their own story and reasons for connecting with culture, it’s important to state that culture connects to people differently and each story is unique. The stories are of people living and breathing culture in the western world to help themselves in their career and also the younger generation. We look forward to bringing you these stories over the next couple of weeks as we explore how people are connecting with their different customs and culture across the diverse countries of Australia.
My name is Andrew Beck, Born in Port Lincoln South Australia and grew up in Esperance Western Australia. I am a proud Ngadju Mirning Noongar man.
I am currently working with students to educate and guide them through mainstream Australia while staying strong culturally. I have been working in the Education system since I was 19 which has allowed myself to mentor many Aboriginal and Torres strait islander students from across the country through their high school and University studies. In my last job previously I worked as the coordinator of the Indigenous program at Guildford Grammar School for the past 8 years and I had been responsible for and facilitated many cultural activities and programs during my time there. Some of those events and programs that I created and ran were;
- the development of the first Indigenous Round of the PSA Football competition,
- The naming of new school buildings after prominent Wadjuk Noongar Elders,
- The installation of giant Sand Murals to allow storytelling during NAIDOC celebrations,
- Assisted in the development the Dookoorniny Project.
Over the past 8 years I have seen close to 50 students Graduate from year 12 at Guildford Grammar School who have gone onto bigger things since graduating. Some have gone onto AFL, university or back to community to give back to the community.
I currently work as a Aboriginal Education Consultant with AISWA Future Footprints program and I am an active member of the local community; serving on multiple boards. I also have done and continue to work as a motivational speaker, Yidaki player and a leader of cultural change.
I have spoken at Australian Society of Music Education Conferences and International Society of Music Education conferences, and several conferences around Australia.
I am passionate believer that all races can walk together and we are leading the next generation to be change makers.
Sharing ways that young people can align themselves with Culture is a way of finding your inner self and in that a sense of Belonging. By being able to link the 2 worlds we live in today to we are able to forge a powerful world in the future. Looking after your mind, body and spirit is vital to tackling today’s world and our culture has practices that are 65,000 years old that help us provide a abundant bed for their safety, maintenance and growth. When we are looking to ground ourselves or return onto our path if we deviate from it we connect with and practice old cultural practices some of these that I do are; artefact making, dancing and art.
If we are looking after our body, mind and soul with; good foods, regular exercise and keeping our minds clear of toxic information, we will become the people we need to be.
Take time to talk to give to connect with the old people; pause, reflect and listen.
- Andrew Beck
Aboriginal Education Consultant
Future Footprints Program
To contact Andrew please request via our email: