June 22, 2020

Welcome to 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 the 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 murderings 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The term culture today seems like an independent term that is only functional in a traditional sense that is almost outdated and cannot be relevant in today’s worldly dealings.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.

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Jamie Moore was born in Bourke New South Wales, and is known in the town for his skilful Aboriginal artworks. He’s a part of a number of community projects, hosts workshops on creating indigenous tools and paintings, and makes beautiful art in his own time. He is currently managing a Maranguka Youth Program with Birrang Enterprises connecting young people to culture, family, community and education.

The Bourke Community has worked for many years to develop a model for improving outcomes and creating better-coordinated support for vulnerable families and children through the true empowerment of the local Aboriginal community. Maranguka, meaning ‘caring for others’ in Ngemba language, is a model of Indigenous self-governance which empowers the community to coordinate the right mix and timing of services through an Aboriginal community-owned and led, which Jamie is apart of.

With roots in the Kullili, Ngemba, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta tribes, Jamie’s family have a rich cultural history. Jamie’s in-depth understanding of his heritage, particularly in relation to his art, came at his own volition: it wasn’t something he fully understood growing up.

“As I got older, I wanted to explore and feel [what my Aboriginality] was all about”.

Jamie became interested in art during high school, after being inspired by his uncles, Eugine Biles and Roy Barker. What started out as doing paintings at school, evolved into travelling to towns across the region to learn new skills and techniques, and doing two courses in Aboriginal art.

Today, Jamie’s varied practice includes carving, painting, and replicating traditional artefacts, and his work can be found in homes, schools, galleries and murals around Bourke and surrounding communities.

Jamie was able to establish himself as an artist in the community of Bourke. For Jamie, learning about his cultural heritage is only half of his mission: the other half lies in passing that knowledge on.

“One of my passions is to learn more and teach more. We learn every day, and I continue to learn about the culture and share that with young people”.

Jamie realises this passion through his work whilst he delivers a cultural program educating students at Bourke High School. Connecting young people to their identity, learning them about the history of the local areas, and learning aboriginal art, artefacts and dance. He has found that taking young people out of the normal school setting and taking them out on country that they immerse themselves and are always keen to learn more. Jamie also connects young people with elders in the Bourke Community, who share their stories and knowledge so it is passed down one generation to the next.

Jamie believes that culture is a missing link to young people that are at risk of disengaging from education and the community. Providing young people with their identity gives them meaning and a sense of belonging.

Thank you, Jamie, for your hard work in the community. 

If you would like to connect Jamie please contact us through email.