Finally, first in family

As I interviewed Katelyn Mills for this story to mark NAIDOC 2021 at SBS, I kept thinking about the book I’m reading, Who Gets to be Smart by Bri Lee. To me, Katelyn represents so much of the good fight when it comes to injecting the educational system with some horribly overdue balance – and perhaps even helping to dismantle the pervasive, oft-poisonous reach of the kyriarchy.

As she says, ‘I’ll come back here and show you all how to do it!’

Sovereignty was never ceded. This is, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

Read Katelyn’s story in full at SBS.

Here’s a little taster:

Katelyn Mills, 24, is a Gamilaraay woman studying a Master’s of Research in Education. She is from Moree, NSW, and lives in Sydney. She spoke to Daisy Dumas about being First in Family having graduated from Macquarie University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Education, majoring in Biology and Chemistry.

University felt in reach and out of reach. Growing up in Moree, my family didn’t put too much value towards education – if we weren’t up for going to school my parents didn’t really mind. I think that’s what motivated me to go to school, it gave me a sense of independence and structure I didn’t have at home. I’ve always looked up to my teachers and they inspired me to become a teacher.

As I got older, those dreams seemed more and more unattainable. As I learned more about the education system, the discrepancies between metropolitan and rural schools, and the public and private sectors, I lost a bit of hope for my future.


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