By Matilda Langham
My name is Matilda Langham, I am a proud Wiradjuri Woman from the rural town of Forbes, NSW. I am in my second year of a Bachelor of Secondary Education (Health and Physical Education), Majoring in Indigenous studies at the University of Canberra.
I have a passion for education and the process of bettering individuals and getting them prepared for the reality of life, teaching them skills that can help with growth in the future.
Twice a week, I work at St Clare’s Catholic College and help young Indigenous girls learn about heritage, Culture and history passed down from generations before. When I was in high school I was a member of Indigenous groups and community activities. This helped inspire my passion for teaching Indigenous Education.
I am grateful for AVCAT and my RSL Australia Scholarship. Their assistance and support give me confidence, and the ability to focus on my studies without worry. I will always be thankful for AVCAT and hope to keep building a great relationship with them in the coming few years.
My goal is to be a person young Aboriginal people can come to for support and help, guiding them in the right direction to pursue their passions and goals in life. As a young girl, I had no connection to my heritage or Culture until my Elders guided me to connect with my Culture when I was in year 10. It gave me the confidence to be a role model for my younger peers, being elected to the School Representative Council, President of the FHS Junior AEGC (Aboriginal Educational Consulting Group) and School Vice-Captain. Our Elders help guide us to find purpose and educate us with the skills we need to achieve our goals.
The 2023 theme for NAIDOC Week is ‘For Our Elders’, and the focus is on appreciation for the sacrifices elders have made for the future Aboriginal generations and for their continued contribution to a life filled with Culture. They have paved the way for Indigenous communities to live with knowledge, and pass that knowledge down through generations, as well as skills and Culture.
Matilda was awarded the RSL Australia Scholarship in 2023.