November 29, 2018
Past gives pointers for future indigenous survival
A former NRL player says it was only by reaching back to his Aboriginal ancestors that he was able to overcome the suicidal thoughts and feelings of low self esteem lurking behind what seemed to be a successful life.
Joe Williams, who played with the Bulldogs, Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs before switching to professional boxing, is speaking at this week's Healing the Spirit Worldwide indigenous health hui in Sydney.
He says such conferences can bring hope to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.
"We think our story's horrific and it's isolated but we sit down in a room where there are first nations from Canada, from America, from New Zealand, we sit down and tell our stories and we realise colonial oppression is worldwide. It's our people that have had the foot on our throat for hundreds of years," Mr Williams says.
He says Māori are regarded as leaders in indigenous health and well being because of the way they have been able to hang on to language and culture.
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