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A shared knowledge: The power of storytelling

Tyrone Gordon is using traditional dance and stories to teach kids in regional New South Wales about their history, culture and identity and help them grow into future leaders.

Born on Wiradjuri land, I was raised in Dubbo with my two sisters and a brother. My mother descended from a little place called Collarenabri, and my father from Berrarwina.

Growing up, I felt lost, I had no identity.

It was only when I gained the knowledge of dance and storylines of my people that I knew I had found my purpose.

Lore, stories and culture gave me identity of who I am and how I am meant to be. It is easy to fall into the trap of societal dreams; having the best car, the best clothes and the best house. People are no longer keeping it simple, like our old people did.

My love of culture led me to creating Thikkabilla Vibrations, an Aboriginal dance and cultural group creating positive change for our future leaders. I tell the story lines of my people and take people out to community to allow both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to perceive, engage with and experience Aboriginal culture. This gives me so much pride.

People like me need to be on the ground level educating the kids both Indigenous and non-Indigenous until it is time for them to realise what has happened in our history with their own eyes.

It’s obvious how toxic the police system is, and how toxic parliament is and how toxic everything is without education, or the perspectives of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. We can all be more humble in our approach and how we talk about what has happened. I am a big believer in moving forward but not many people are, especially in today’s society when it is really hard to move forward with mainstream media tearing us apart.

It has taken me a long time to find my story but that is the journey of culture. When I see my kids and nieces and nephews practicing culture I know that my knowledge is in safe hands.

Just like my old people have taught me, knowledge is powerful, but only if it is shared.

If you’re always giving you’re always receiving.

Tyrone Gordon

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