It's National Reconciliation Week 2021 here in Australia. In honour of this year's call to impactful action, we wanted to amplify the voice of Danielle, Roogenic's Indigenous Liaison and Founder of BlackBirds Culture, who facilitates our connection with Indigenous communities and helps us continuously improve and give back in an impactful way.
What’s your go to Roogenic tea at the moment?
My whole family have been huge lovers of Roogenic tea. I have always loved native happiness, Xaves loves native strawberry and Chrys loves the Super Detox tea. We have at least one cup a day, it’s honestly one of my favourite teas in the world.
What’s your role at Roogenic and how did you get involved with Roogenic?
It will be almost 4 years now since I connected in with Roogenic and started to work with them on community projects. Our values and love for building community capacity started there and it’s now been a year that I have been working with Roogenic on building Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders capacity in organisation and community.
It’s one of the best companies I have ever worked for.
Each staff member has such love and respect for what they do and are all about making a difference.
Can you tell us about your family and your role as an Indigenous role model to your son and the broader community?
I have a very alternative family, my partner and son mean the world to me and every day we try to lead by example so we can guide our boy so he can be curious about life, be interested in learning, culture and have a genuine care for people.
This year on New Year’s Day we went out and gave food in to those less fortunate in Perth CBD to learn the art of humanitarianism and he really valued that. We teach him to treat others with kindness and respect and we teach him the value of giving back. I think I try to do the same in the community. I also try to show kindness to others and always keep learning
Can you tell us about BlackBirds Culture?
Blackbirds Culture is an Aboriginal and Māori social enterprise that aims to empower, educate and support the community’s general mental and emotional health and well-being.
We do this by leading and facilitating culturally appropriate training, workshops activities and events that focus on mental health first aid, self- care, life coaching, art programs and more.
We offer Aboriginal, Youth and Standard Mental Health First Aid accreditation.
We tailor a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course to suit your workplace.
We have a combined 15 years of experience in running cultural infused programmes and events that enhance social and emotional well-being.
What inspired you to launch a social enterprise that supports Indigenous mental health?
I think from an early age I have had to work hard. My mum became unwell when I was young about 7 due to a tragedy that happened and then we had to work, study, play competitive sports and community commitments to survive. I think I had my first paid job when I was 10.
This has set me up in life knowing that if you want anything you have to work hard. I have a passion to ensure my sons life looks different and that I have the opportunity and skills now to empower others to change and challenge the stigma around mental health that I know this can help people create different outcomes.
I’ve worked in the community for over 15 years for other agencies and I wanted this year to launch or business to start building community capacity and make change.
I also know the challenges of people trying to access services at times so I am able to share my knowledge with others.
What are your top 3 tips for looking after your mental health?
1. Doing at least one thing a day that brings you joy
2. Be grateful for the little things
3. And do something kind to your Body and mind even if it’s just 5 mins a day!
Do you have an affirmation or philosophy that you share with people that reach out to you?
Omg I love Brene Brown, she’s my go to gal!
When I see people stand fully in their truth, or when I see someone fall down, get back up, and say, ‘Damn. That really hurt, but this is important to me and I’m going in again’—my gut reaction is, ‘What a badass.’”
Connect with Danielle Cameron at BlackBirds Culture.