Welcome to my blog

Congratulations and welcome to friends, family and others who have found something of interest in my blog. The reason that I have created this blog is to share some of my experiences regarding my own journey of writing and publishing my autobiography. I am really excited and motivated about this whole process. I hope that what I write about is interesting to you and thank you for your encouragement and support.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Joy's 2011 Life Lessons in a Nutshell

Joy's 2011 Life Lessons in a Nutshell!

Everyone is given a second chance!

Everyone needs a good girlfriend!

No matter what, never ever quit!

Good things come to those who wait!

Art heals the heart!

Follow your dreams!

Laughter is the best medicine!

Always have a team spirit!

Give yourself permission for regular time-out!

Life is one big circle (Life-death-life)

Never miss the opportunity to catch up with family before it's too late!

Practice what you preach!

Life goes on!

Patience is a virtue!

There's always hope!

Art is in the eye of the beholder!

Let go of the past to heal the future!

Drugs and alcohol don't fool your problems, they only fuel them!

Culture heals!

Overcome your fears and do it anyway!

Disappointments are your choice!

Our bodies are the vehicles for our souls, so keep them well tuned!

Feed your soul regularly!

No excuses!

Time flys when you're having fun!

Hard work always gets noticed and rewarded!

To have a few close friends is better than a room full of strangers!

Quality time counts!

Give without expecting a return!

Love unconditionally!

Karma is inevitable!

Everyone needs to know where they come from!

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

Write straight from the heart!

Every cloud has a silver lining!

It's never as bad as you expect!

Don't make mountains out of mole hills!

Dreams really do come true!

God hears every prayer!

With every fall we must rise!

Giving is better than receiving!

Do something with the spiritual gifts you have been given.

What you do now sets the foundations for the future!

You will always reap what you sow!

Alcohol doesn't make a party... you do!

Never rely on other's to complete you!

There's always an option and choice!

There's always plenty of opportunity to learn!

If you don't succeed the first time, try, try and try again!

The seeds of self-confidence are planted by parents!

Money doesn't buy love or happiness!

Memories are made every minute ~ remember that!

Nothing can not be overcome once you make a decision!

Listen to life's whispers!

Life is too short!

Appreciate what you do have not what you don't have!

Everyone has a purpose in life!  What's yours?

Our bodies know how to heal themselves, they just need the right ingredients!

Big is not always best!

Gratitude is the attitude!

Disappointment makes victory all that much better!

So until the new year,  Joy!  :)

Quick look at Joy's Life during 2011

I can't believe that 2011 has nearly ended!  As tradition would have it at this time of the year I like to have a look over my past year, so hold on tight & come on my life's journey!  (If you want)

You will see that I have written down all of the things that I have done each month and then I go over them and remind myself of what I am grateful for.  At the end of my year I like to see what lessons I’ve learned along the way.  If you don't want to wade through all of the in's and out's of my year, you will find the summary at Joy's life in a nutshell 2011. Enjoy  :)
January 2011
Mum had 2nd cancerous tumour removed.
Out with the girls for Karaoke.  Good night had by all!
Submitted my manuscript "Finding the joy within" for the Stanner Award with AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies).
February 2011
Had a reflexology with my favorite friend Marilyn from Happy Feet Reflexology at Mawson Lakes.
Continued working with Marra Dreaming (Board of Management meeting).
Gave a speech at SA Link-Up to commemorate the 3rd Anniversary of National Apology Checkout my blog post 
Out with the Marra Dreaming girls, birthday dinner night!
Attended the 3rd Spirit Festival at Rymill Park - Adelaide.  My son Jordan sold his first ever dot painting.  Proud moment!
Did a reading from "Finding the joy within" at the Writer's Tent!
March 2011
Went to "Sista Act" play - Brilliant!  (My small b'day celebration)
Went to the Nunga Funnies at Tandanya, great turnout (again) lol!
Went to the Deadly Funnies at Tandanya.  Was OK!
This year it was my turn to go the to Clipsal 500 for the first time with the Marra Dreaming Girls.  BRILLIANT!!!  Am totally hooked!  Vrrroooom  vrrrooom!
Marra Dreaming mob at Clipsal 500
Went to Blak Nite 2011  (Hip-Hop) event for the young ones!  Adelaide's got some great talent 4 sure!
Started my long service leave so that I could spend some quality time with my mum!  Took 11 weeks - was worth every minute!
Mum and I watched my 14 yo son Jordan compete at his Eudunda Area School Sports Day!
April 2011
Mum started intravenous chemotherapy.
Jai started soccer training  and games for Andrews Farm Soccer Club!
I had a pampering beauty session at Elizabeth TAFE!  Ahhhh!
School holidays! Fun, Fun, Fun!
My little niece was born!
Lunch with my work team mates!  Even though on LS Leave I couldn't resist a catch-up!
Quiet Easter at home!
Had a devastating phone call that my brother that I was yet to meet had passed away!
May 2011
Lodged my manuscript for the Queensland (QLD) Literary Awards!
Went to a "Red Faces" funny night out with the girls!  Laughs all round!
Mothers Day - well that was an interesting lesson!
My 3 beautiful nieces and my great niece and nephew came down from QLD for a week to visit my Mum!
Keiths birthday - came and went.
Lovely lunch with a girlfriend at the "Watershed" in Salisbury!  Lovely feed and friendship and lots of unexpected laughs!
Attended a funeral of a dear writing friend who took her own life.  Inspired to keep on gardening and get my book published in her memory!
Undertook a exciting project at Marra Dreaming that is yet to be unveiled!
Massage for me!  Ahhh!
Speech at Tarndarnyanga - Adelaide for National Sorry Day speech.  Check out my blog post!
"Inner Scents"
Lodged my "Inner Scents" piece of art at the Tea Tree Gully Exhibition as part of Reconcilliation Week!
June 2011
Had Violets 5th birthday party!
Back to work!  Hi ho, hi ho it's off to work I go!
Violet started school!  Oh my last little baby is growing up.  ;(
Washing machine decided to take a long term break!  Ouch said the bank account!
Went to Coffs Harbour for my brothers Memorial Service!  Thank you SA Link-Up.
Attended the "2011 Alcohol and Tobacco and other drugs Aboriginal Workers Conference" at Barossa Novatel.  Very informative conference!
July 2011
Attended Lord Mayor’s Morning Tea and the 2011 NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration) Awards and Flag Raising Ceremony.  
Attended Statewide women's health Aboriginal womens meeting with "Bilawara Lee".  Fantastic!
Violet graduated from Kindergarten!  Yehhh!
Attended the NAIDOC Ball this year with Keith (shock / horror) at Adelaide Festival Theatre.  Great entertainment and night!
School holidays yet again!  
Mum moved to my brothers!
“Our Metro Mob” exhibition was cancelled this year!  :(  My big project, still on the boil for another day!
August 2011
Started walking in the "Corporate Cup" again, once a fortnight for 12 weeks!  4.5km around the River Torrens!  Relaxing and healthy!
Attended UniSA Open Day!
Started attending Aboriginal Women's Leadership workshops through Relationships Australia!  Very helpful and insightful!
September 2011
Went to Geoffrey Gurrumul's Yunupingu's  concert at Thebarton Theatre with Keith!  A completely spiritual experience, highly recommend it to anyone.  A messenger sent straight from heaven!
Been a year since started going to Marra Dreaming.  Wow how time flys!
Mum came with us when we went to Jai's Andrews Farm Soccer Club and trophy presentation day!
October 2011
Jai’s 7th birthday – Small party at home with a few of his little school and soccer friends!  Followed by the AFL Grandfinal between the Geelong Cats and Collingwood!  Need I say who won?  Carn the CATS!  Yah!
Keith and kids - Goolwa Holiday
Keith and I took the 3 kids away to Goolwa for a little holiday!  
Helped mum through a rough patch and helped her move into a Nursing Home!
Jai met his big brother Gordy for the 1st time!
Attended a 1 week training workshop at the "Koolunga Aboriginal Writers Retreat".  Met some fantastic people and learnt sooooo much!  Thank you for this great writing opportunity Ali, you lit the fire in my belly again!
Submitted my manuscript "Finding the joy within" to the South Australian Wakefield Press Unpublished manuscript award!  (Still eagerly awaiting results).
Went to Semaphore beach with the family and Gordy and Lorelle!
November 2011
Attended Nunga's Writers Group meeting for the first time!
Attended funeral!
Soon to be in our naughty 40's
Caught up with my old school girlfriends for dinner and resolved to save up for a cruise in 2012 to celebrate our upcoming 40th birthdays!  Excellent night!

Me, Jazz and Lowitja!
Attended the "Long Walk Luncheon" on behalf of the Marra Dreaming team.  Got to have a photo with legendary Michael Long and icon Lowitja O'Donohue.

Mum's in hospital again.  :(
Attended Kaurna Plains 25th Anniversary celebrations!
Attended the Australian of the Year 2012 awards with Mr John Browne!  Very humbling experience, I witnessed that there are some completely dedicated individuals in this world who  give 100% without expectation of returns!  Amazing!
Attended my neighbours daughters 18th (alcohol free) Bday party!  Very different and fun experience, nice fun filled night!
Attended a family funeral.  :(  Sad sad day!
Was accepted and attended a 1 week "Curatorial Art Workshop".  Absolutely amazing learning and networking experience!  Brilliant and inspiring, kick started the desire to continue with my art work too!
Exhibited my "Inner Scents" painting again and this time it sold.  :)  Happy much!  lol!
Attended Violet's Reading Superstar Assembly with Mum!  What a proud moment for us all!
December 2011
Big Boy "Oliver"~ RIP
Lost our Big Boy Oliver our cat!  Most devastating day of the year!  I cried for a week!  
Took Jai to the Zoo with his Dad, Big brother, Lorelle and 2 of his new found little cousins. 
Woke up with THE WORST EVER back pain in my entire life!
Took my Mum to the kids Christmas Concert (despite unbearable pain)!  All the extended family came to watch Jai and his "shuffling" moves and Violet's ballet and singing!  Once again it was worth the world and more.  Thank you Universe for allowing me and my mum and family to share in this special little event!  
Found out that I had actually ruptured 2 discs in my back and had the most physically painful week in my entire life.  Thought that my life was over!  Was the biggest scare I've ever had.  Yes my life did flash before my eyes, I can hardly believe that I managed to get through it.  In retrospect I realised that every physical injury has an underlying emotional cause.  The next task was trying to work out what that was!  Think I've worked it out and am continuing to work through it and process it.  It really has become the focus of my life.  Sometimes when we don't hear life's little whispers it just pulls you straight up in your tracks with a SCREAMING HALT!  So take my advice and listen to the whispers!  Costs a whole lot less in the long run (in all aspects)  ~ trust me!  This experience got me to get in touch and to utilise every bit of advice I have ever given and ever preached, certainly an interesting experience - (she says now it's over).  lol!
Must also give credit to all of the alternative therapists that assisted in my recovery - Chiropractor, Acupuncture, Massage, Reiki, Ngankari (Traditional Aboriginal Healer), Reflexology, lots of water, vitamins and mineral replacement, anti-inflammatory foods and lots and lots of prayer! 
Mum in hospital again  :(
Due to my above temporary illness I missed 3 of my most looked forward to festive season events, my work Christmas party, Marra Dreaming Christmas party and my ISS work team Christmas dinner.  
Went to a small Christmas Carols event held at Marra Dreaming, organised by my close friend Mary Graham.  Lovely night with lovely company! 
Officially now on Christmas holidays and attended the SA Link-Up Family BBQ with Keith and the 3 kids at the Belair National Park.  What a beautiful event to finish off yet another very productive and insightful year.  Thank you SA Link-Up was once again reminded what my purpose in life is all about and will make it my new years resolution to help other people less fortunate than myself with their self healing.
Finally, finished off our year with a lovely little get away with the 3 kids again to Port Pirie.  Despite my earlier back injuries which by this stage were well and truly on the mend, we went bike riding, swimming and walking on the beach with the kids.  I realised from this trip that I love my life, I love my kids, I love my partner and I love my body and myself, most of all I love God!
Well that was the year that was, many lessons learned!  Check out Joy's 2011 Lesson in a Nutshell for my shortened version of insights!
Until next time  :)  Joy 

What's your goals for 2012?

With today being the eve of the new year for 2012 I thought I'd set some of my own goals and dig up last years post about "Goal Setting".

Did you know that the majority of people spend more time planning a holiday than they spend setting goals for the future?

Have you ever set goals in the past or have you thought about setting goals for the New Year, but just didn’t know where to start?

Well maybe today is the day!  As I said in my last blog “why put off tomorrow, what you can do today?”  So let’s set some goals together!

I have always had goals and I suspect, so have you, but I bet like most people you never actually wrote them down.  This is a really important aspect of goal setting and one that I will encourage you to actually do!

Now before we get started, I just wanted to point out why it is important to have goals.  So this next point might seem a bit left field, but stick with me and see where I’m travelling with it.

How many of you either play a sport or watch sports?  Football, netball, basketball or soccer?  What is the one common thing that each of these games have?  That’s right, they all have goals.  What would be the point of playing these games if there were no goals.  You wouldn’t know who was winning or how hard you needed to keep trying to reach your goal or even exceed your goal.  Therefore goals are important, they are the guide post that keep you on track and let you know how you’re going.

What's your goals for 2012?
Now there are many books, websites and professionals such as life coaches that are dedicated to helping you set and achieve your goals.  Sometimes these can be costly, so I am going to try and keep this basic, so that you actually can put these goals into action.

When setting goals, I think that it is important to not only have big goals that may take longer, but also lots of smaller goals that help you work towards achieving the bigger goals.

Often (but not always) bigger goals take longer to achieve, so it’s good to give yourself some more time to achieve those goals.  I find it easier to work from biggest back down to smallest goals.  So let’s break it down into 3 goals per time frame.  (you fill in the blanks).  You will notice I am using the words “I will” which I also referred to in my Gain or Loss post; this is because we need to call upon your “will power” to help achieve your goals.

Before I die
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
In 20 years time (I will be 60 years old)
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
In 10 years time (I will be 50 years old)
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
In 5 years time  (I will be 45 years old)
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
By the end of 2012 (I will be 40  years old)
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
By the end of January 2012
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
By the end of this week
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
By the end of today
  • I will
  • I will
  • I will
Now you still might be sitting there reading and thinking I still have no idea what areas of my life I want to improve.  Well to help you work on this, you can approach it in two ways.

1.         What areas of your life do you want to improve from 2011?
2.         What areas of your life do you currently value?

When thinking about these questions, also remember that often our lives are affected holistically.  This means, that when we have a healthy mind, body and spirit, we think, feel and act so much better.

So under each time frame heading, set one goal for each area of your life (mind, body, spirit)

For example:

By the end of today
  • I will read a chapter of a book = MIND
  • I will do 30 minutes of stretching exercises = BODY
  • I will spend 10 minutes in quiet meditation = SPIRIT
How will you know if it is a mind, body or spirit goal?

Mind goals are things that make your think, get your brain working such as reading, writing, blogging, internet surfing, crosswords, card games, board games, sewing, knitting, talking with others, watching a documentary, scrap-booking, playing, listening to music, painting, singing or acting. (please beware of gaming as these sometimes deaden your mind instead of stimulate it)

Body goals are usually anything that takes physical effort and energy.  Any of the above sports that I already mentioned or swimming, walking, bike riding, table tennis, boxing, golfing or playing darts are also great body goals.

Spiritual goals are very wide and varied.  I want you to remember that this is a very individual goal and basically anything that “makes your heart sing”.  If your heart is singing then you have found your spiritual goal.  So find your most favourite thing in the world to do and just do it!  It’s usually something that you love doing and you loose track of time when you’re doing it. 

The last thing that I want to bring to your awareness, is that most things in this world are better shared.  So share your goals with others and make yourself accountable.   Think about how these goals will impact others in your life and remember that sometimes “less is more”.

So here’s to a prosperous and Happy New Year so until next time!  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Please help make a difference

Dear friends,

Please check out this fundraising page: http://www.gofundraise.com.au/page/MyorsR
Rebecca is trying to make a difference for a great cause that is close to her heart.
Rebecca has created a fundraising page through GoFundraise to help support Indigenous Literacy Project and raising awareness about depression and where support for depression in Australia can be found and raise some much needed funds.
Rebecca would greatly appreciate your support by making a donation through her web page. You can also leave personal messages and get involved yourself.
Together we can make a difference.

Thank you for your help!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

National Sorry Day 2011

Today is National Sorry Day 2011 and I attended the Adelaide event which was held at Tarndanyangga (Victoria Square).  

John Browne the Chair of the South Australia Journey of Healing Committee asked me if I would give a brief speech regarding the significance of today.

So here it is;

I would like to acknowledge the land that we meet on today which is the traditional lands of the Kaurna people.
My name is Joy Makepeace and I also acknowledge that I am not from South Australia as I am a Kamilaroi woman from Northern New South Wales.  I must admit that I haven’t always known who my people were and where I was from and even who I was.  The reason for this is because I was separated from my Aboriginal family when I was a baby and became a ward of the state, then fostered and later adopted to the Makepeace family.   In my birth family I am the 9th child of 12 children, which is made up of 7 boys and 5 girls.  None of the 12 of us grew up with our birth mother.  So yes I do identify as being a member of the Stolen Generation. 

Today I have been asked by John Browne – the Chairperson of the SA Journey of Healing Committee to say a few words regarding the significance of National Sorry Day.  Some of you may have heard the speech that I gave at Nunkuwarrin Yunti earlier this year regarding the 3rd Anniversary of the National Apology, so today instead of repeating what I said there I wanted to highlight why todays “National Sorry Day” is and always has been and always will be significant despite the recent National Apology.

Therefore today is not just another day on the calendar.  Today marks the 14th anniversary of when “The Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their families” was tabled in Federal Parliament.  This report resulted in 54 recommendations.  Holding a National Sorry Day each year on 26 May “to commemorate the history of forcible removals and its effects.”  is just one of those recommendations. Today is a day to pause, to grieve together and to re-commit ourselves to a better future.

One of the other 54 recommendations was that a National Apology be delivered.  We know that this has occurred and many believe that this is where the story ends.  However, unfortunately there are still many recommendations that have been overlooked and not yet fulfilled.  Undoubtedly there is still much work to be done.

Today’s National Sorry Day theme is “Still living on borrowed time” and I agree whole heartedly that time is running out.  How much more time do we have to wait for reparation, compensation, restitution, record preservation and freedom of personal information.  Much of this is based on amending legislation and the development of memorandums of understanding, which undoubtedly takes much consultation and negotiation.  Meanwhile we are “living on borrowed time” and are expected to have rehabilitated, reconnected and reunified our broken hearts and communities.  I understand that this is not something that is going to happen overnight, but it is also something that should not take a life time. 

My message to you today is already written within today’s “National Sorry Day” theme “still living on borrowed time”.  As hard as it may seem, the point is exactly that, if you are here today then you are “still living” and your job is not done.   

Every one of us here has the ability to make a difference and to change our future.  We do not have to be chained to our past and if we want change then we have to be the change because things will not change unless things change.  

In saying this, I encourage you to stop waiting to die thinking what if and start living in hope, of what could be.

Thank you.

Joy Makepeace

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hate to love!

How many times have you heard yourself saying “I really hate it when ……”

I remember when growing up my mum always told me that “hate” was a very strong word and to be careful whenever I used it.  I can honestly say that I don’t hate anyone, but sometimes I think that I hate what they DO, not who they are! 

In the past week I have held 2 new born babies and when I looked into both of their precious little eyes, I knew in my heart of hearts, that there is no such thing as an evil baby, a devil child or a hateful, revengeful, angry, bitter bone in their bodies.  When we are born, we are pure love, no matter what circumstances may have lead to our creation and being ness. 

If we are not born to hate, then hate must be a learned behaviour.  Just as we learn to eat, crawl, walk and talk, we also learn what we like and dislike.  This is all based on our personal experiences or what the people we love tell us from their experiences.

In most dictionaries hate is described as “to DISLIKE intensely or passionately”.    It therefore makes sense that the opposite of hate is love.  Hence, we “LIKE something intensely or passionately.”  

So what are some of the things that we have LEARNED to hate.  Throughout our lives we constantly use our senses to help guide us in our learning.  We are always reacting to how something tastes, feels, sounds, looks or smells.  Some of these things will make us feel good and some of these things will make us feel bad.  All of these experiences are sent to our MEMORY bank and stored for future reference.  These memories are later grouped together with other life lessons and an overall personal judgement is made.

Usually when we come to the conclusion that we strongly don’t like (hate) something, this is based on an accumulation of all of these bad experiences and this decision is intensified when combined with other people’s bad experiences. 

Usually when we don’t like (hate) something we are silently saying that we are quite scared of it.  This is commonly known as FEAR. 

Now the problem is, sometimes FEAR is just;


So before you come to the conclusion that you hate someone or something, perhaps you might want to come back to your SENSES and ask yourself is this TRUE or FALSE!

Until next time! 


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Anita Heiss Blog: Anita’s Black Book Challenge (BBC)

Anita Heiss Blog: Anita’s Black Book Challenge (BBC): "Most of us have heard of the BBC’s Book Challenge listing 100 books. Somewhere (probably on Facebook) it was claimed that most people had o..."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Am I happy

How many of you regularly ask yourself “Am I happy?”

Do you cruise through life thinking, I wish I was happier? 

Do you even know what happiness is?

I bet you have a huge list of things that you know make you happy and feed your spirit.  Some of these make you happy right now and some of these are on a wish list of “things to do” that will make you happy later.

Some are free and some cost a lot of money.  Some may take a little while, yet others may take a lot of time and effort. 

I’m sure you would agree that no one knows you better than yourself.  So it makes sense that YOU know, what makes you happy.  However, if this were so true, then why are you still asking yourself “Am I happy?”

I have pondered this question and searched relentlessly for the answer, but it wasn’t until I opened a book called “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren that I realised that “It’s not all about me!”  Shock, horror! 

Up until that point in my life, I had attended a million self-focused workshops that were completely aimed at improving my level of self-esteem, self-satisfaction, self-worth, self-determination and self-happiness.  At the end of all of these workshops I always walked out feeling very self-inflated.  However, looking back, I can now see that the one thing that these workshops helped me to become was very SELF-ISH!

Now hang on a minute I hear you screaming!  I  I  I  I  I!   Yes that’s right, Rick Warren was right and yes life really isn’t about you!  (or me).  What I’ve since discovered is that the greatest happiness in life actually comes when we take the focus off ourselves and meet the needs of others. 

When we can unconditionally love, forgive, share and help others FIRST then amazing things begin to happen in our own lives.

When we put our own needs first we are FORE-getting before we FORE-give.

How many of you are prepared to give without expecting anything in return?

Do you have an attitude of gratitude?  Are you thankful for everything you receive?  Do you help others before you help yourself? 

I challenge you to honestly spend 1 week putting others needs and wants first.  This needs to be done without any resentment or expectation of rewards in return.  Then wait patiently and see what flows back to you.   I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised and this will undoubtedly make you happy.

Until next time!  Are you up to the challenge? 


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stressed out!

How many of you have heard yourself saying “I’m so stressed out?”

Did you know that in most traditional Aboriginal societies, there isn’t even a word to describe stress?  I wonder why that is? 

To unpack this we need to work out what “stress” is before we can work out what it is not!

In the past, stress used to be defined as “the physical pressure, pull or other force exerted on one thing by another” 

In more recent times physical stress has taken on more of a psychological meaning and we have become the subject or thing of the strain and tension and it becomes our physical, mental or emotional well-being that is put under stress or pressure.  The question is are we really under all that stress, strain and pressure or do we just think we are?

Now some times pressure is good, but sometimes it feels like it becomes too much and we become stressed and de-pressed, hence the term “I feel flat”.  This is when everything in life just becomes too much of a challenge and feels like the world and all the responsibilities are on your shoulders.

When we feel stressed, instead of focusing on what we can do, we become wrapped up in thinking about all of the things that we can’t do.  We then focus on what everyone else thinks that we should be doing. 

Now in the past the main difference was everyone actually knew what they were supposed to be doing.  Everyone was given jobs, tasks and roles based on their gender and age.  There was a sharing of responsibility.  It didn’t all fall on one person’s shoulders.

In the past roles were very clear and who was doing a task was clear, what they were told to do was clear, how they had to do it was clear, when it had to be done was clear and why they had to do it was also clear. 

In more recent times, roles have become very BLURRED and much of the time we don’t know what we should be doing and who should be doing it.  Society no longer cares who does what; it just wants the job done.  What we find is that if you want a job done well you ask someone who’s busy, because you know that they are good at getting things done.  Hence the pressure, stress and strain all falls onto the shoulders of one individual.  Usually YOU!

So next time you feel like the world is on your shoulders, remember to get CLEAR on what is expected of you, but most of all, what you expect of yourself!

Until next time!  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Apology - Acknowledgement of the 3rd Anniversary

Today I was asked to give a speech at Nunkuwarrin Yunti SA Inc. for the the SA Link-Up Program on my experience of The National Apology as acknowledgement of the 3rd Anniversary.

I have provided most of my speech here on this blog, but because some of it was directly from chapters in my book, I have had to remove those parts.  

Sorry guys it was one of those moments when "you had to be there!"

Traditional owner’s acknowledgement

I would like to acknowledge the land that we meet on today is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and that we respect their spiritual relationship with the country. 
I also acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of the Adelaide region and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people.

Acknowledgement of you and your story

Today I have been asked to share my story life and yes my story is probably a similar story to that of many other Aboriginal children who were removed from their birth families.  However, even though the policies that lead to the removal of many Aboriginal children were the same, the outcomes of our lives are quite varied and have resulted in a range of individual experiences. 
It is my story that I wish to share with you today and it may not be the worst or the best life story that you have ever heard, but it is my story.  I do not want to compare myself with anyone else; as I believe everyone’s story is as valuable and as significant as the next.  
What I am hoping for today is that through sharing my story that you may see the similarities of our stories and together we can heal.

Who am I?

Who you are?
What’s your name?
Where you from?
Who’s your mother?
Who’s your father?

I hate those words.  Yet they are some of the most commonly used words within Aboriginal communities across Australia and they are words that I am forever being asked. 
I know so many of us wish it was easier to answer the “who you are and where you from?” question, but no matter how much family history research, how many relatives you make contact with, how many brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles or cousins you meet, no matter how hard you try to make those reconnections, you may never be able to answer these questions to the satisfaction of others.  

There are just too many gaps and too much missing information.  I also know that I can’t expect to gain that knowledge through a quick visit back to my country or even after having a quick reunion with some of my family.  

Trying to explain this to someone who hasn’t been removed from their family or community is very difficult.  They don’t understand why I don’t know all about my family and they take it for granted that everyone else should know this too. Often as a result, I feel a deep sense of guilt, as though it is my duty to find out, just to satisfy them.  So to any of you fulla’s out there who already know who you are and where you’re from please keep in mind that some of us are still searching for those answers.

So what I will try and do now is tell you what I do know about “Who I am and where I am from?”

My name is Joy Makepeace and I have lived in Adelaide for the past 24 years.  I am Aboriginal and I am adopted to a white family.  I am 38 years old and I have 3 children.

I currently work at the University of South Australia in the Indigenous Student Services Unit at Mawson Lakes and have done for the past 9 years, but previous to that I was a Caseworker with the SA Link-Up Program.  

My Story

I was born Joyce Lee West and my birth mother was Joan Margaret West.  She was an Aboriginal woman who was born in Goodooga, which is in New South Wales, in Kamilaroi country.  I was born in a small country town in NSW, called Wee Waa.  I was the ninth born of twelve children…  (removed text)

It wasn’t until I got into my teenage years that I really even began to question my identity and started to really wonder about those plaguing questions of who I really was and where I was from.  It is these two questions that continually haunted me.  It is finding the answer to “Who am I?” that has guided me towards writing my autobiography which is called “Finding the joy within”.  Writing my book has been my own personal journey of healing, which I will talk more about, a bit later.  (removed text)

All of the above stuff was probably the most trying time of my life, but at the same time it was also the most extremely healing time of my life.  Having had these experiences has opened many doors and challenged me and made me grow.

This pretty much brings me to the point that I am at now.  My book which is called “Finding the joy within” it is not only the story of my life, but it covers the lessons that I have learnt along the way.  It takes a close look at where I have been, what I have learnt and where I want to go.  The main theme of the book is the theme of my life, which has been my search for my true identity.
A couple of months ago, I decided that I would start to promote my book through a blog, which is like a website.  It was an article on my blog about “The National Apology” that lead SA Link-Up to contact me to see if I would come to talk with you about my experience of attending the National Apology in Canberra back in 2008.

What it was like for you to be at Parliament House when Hon. Keven Rudd gave his National Apology speech

I have written about this experience in my book and what I now want to do share part of this chapter from my book.  

Now to give you a bit of background my book is written in past, present and future tense.  The chapter that I’m reading from is called “Bitterness and Resentment”, which is what I was feeling before I went to Canberra for the National Apology.  I thought that everyone owed me an apology and I didn’t really expect to feel any different after I had heard the National Apology.  I will now read what I have written and let you make your own mind up about my experience of the National Apology.  (removed text)

Where to now?  

The SA Link-Up staff wanted me to cover a bit about what I have learnt about healing and what it means to me!

The main thing that I have learnt about healing is that healing requires forgiveness, which starts with the word “sorry”. 

Now I know that this Nation and all of us had been waiting for so many years for that moment to happen and many of us said “I’ll be happy when … the government says sorry to us.”
Now that the Government has said sorry, many of us are saying “I’ll be happy when …. we get compensation,” which is valid and I know that many people are still fighting for this.  However, what I want you to know is that there is a huge list of “I’ll be happy whens …” and I must admit that I am one of those people that used to live by this list. 

Here are some of my previous “I’ll be happy whens!” and while I’m reading mine, perhaps you can think about some of yours!

I’ll be happy when!

I’ll be happy when I finish high school!

I’ll be happy when I find a boyfriend!

I’ll be happy when I find my family!

I’ll be happy when I move out of home!

I’ll be happy when I finish Uni!

I’ll be happy when I get a job!

I’ll be happy when I get a new car!

I’ll be happy when I buy a house!

I’ll be happy when I get married!

I’ll be happy when I travel overseas!

I’ll be happy when I have a baby!

I’ll be happy when I get out of hospital!

I’ll be happy when I get better!

I’ll be happy when I get back to work!

I’ll be happy when I have a holiday!

I’ll be happy when I get divorced!

I’ll be happy when I find my freedom!

I’ll be happy when I settle down!

I’ll be happy when I have more children!

I’ll be happy when I finish my Masters!

I’ll be happy when I work out who I am!

I’ll be happy when I finish my book!

I’ll be happy when I FINISH THIS SPEECH!

So many of us spend so much time worrying about overcoming the next hurdle in our lives that we just forget to live in the present moment!  By doing this we miss the full experience of life, we miss all of the lesson that life has for us and we miss feeling good RIGHT NOW!  All the time we are worrying about the past, or worrying about the future and by doing this we can’t be fully present in the moment that counts the most, which is right NOW!

My favourite quote!

So my next and final slide for today is “my favourite quote,” which I try to live by everyday and every moment.
"Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift.  That's why it's called the present!"
Bil Keane 
This speech has been my gift to you and I hope that what you take away from it may never be taken away from you again.

Thank you!