i am found.

I’ve had a few ‘Light bulb’ moments in my life.

One of the first most poignant ones was at college when I found Anthropology, it was (finally) a subject that I totally connected with not only on a mental level but on a spiritual and emotional level as well. It was a written and verbal account of all the cultures I had been fascinated with most of my life. In a lot of ways it also fuelled my anger toward the people who have mistreated indigenous cultures; an anger that I have been grappling with until today. But I’ll expand on that later.

The second very important epiphany came when I was sitting in the grandstand of a photography slideshow in Perpignan, France during the Visa Pour l’mage photography festival. It was the moment that I discovered photography as my life calling. Ever encouraged by my friends (particularly Ying , Blair and Gareth) I had never believed in myself enough to actually consider picking up a camera and never putting it down. But on that fateful night, I knew that I could. It has turned out to be one of the most important decisions to date. It saved my life. And I really mean that.

Here’s the thing of it. If you don’t follow your life’s calling, you won’t be happy. It will manifest itself into negativity, anxiety, sickness, jealousy, depression and confusion. A very wise woman told me that today and it related a lot to my life. She also helped me find my path and acknowledge the importance of it. I often get anxiety and what she has helped me to realise is that my anxiety is a manifestation of a confusion or diversion from the path I am meant to follow. And also guilt of not doing what I feel I should be. But I have also learned that I need to be kinder to myself because I am always learning and growing.

This displaced anger, the love for indigenous cultures, the anxiety; it is all signs that point toward the fact that my calling in this life is to bring voice to the injustices of indigenous/ mixed race peoples of the past and present. And I know it’s not only my calling but the calling of many others – indigenous and non-indigenous alike. But it is, also, my calling and now… everything makes sense.

Growing up in a mono-culture that is the Gold Coast, I always found it hard to connect with people. Being mixed race and feeling so strongly about diversity and equality in a place that was sometimes, not so accepting, I never knew how to channel my rage. And then I went to Hawaii and everyone was like me; a physical manifestation of the cultural rainbow that is the world and I at once felt at home. My movements there were fluid. My friend Aisea said, “You move well here” and nothing felt so true. But as a learn more and grow older, I think I can eventually learn how to feel that way in all places.

Photography is my median in my plight to help shed light on the atrocities of the past and present on native/ethnic/indigenous peoples. This might sound ludicrous to some and absolutely natural to others. But I know how I feel and now everything is as it should be. And now I stand in amazement at the calling of my life; I am found.

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