My name is Jed Fraser, a proud Bidjara and Mandandanji man. I am currently in my 3rd year of studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Movement Science at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). I am also very proud to be a part of the 2017 Indigenous Allied Health Australia SRC. Recently I had an opportunity that I would like to share with you.
I was privileged to attend the 2017 World Indigenous Conference on Education (WIPCE) hosted in Toronto, Canada. Over the past 30 years, WIPCE has grown into a major international event in the Indigenous education movement that is hosted triennially. The intention of WIPCE is to draw Indigenous representatives from around the world, to share successes and strategies for culturally grounded Indigenous education. This conference is the largest of its kind, hosting over 3000 people. The theme of this year’s conference was a celebration of resilience. Therefore, a lot of the presentations and keynote speakers tied into this theme, as truth and reconciliation is an international movement.
I attended the conference as part of a student delegation from the QUT Oodgeroo Unit, we presented on the productive work we do as Indigenous student ambassadors. In this ambassador role at QUT, we engage Indigenous students coming through school on the importance of education. We believe education is key.
As well as presenting, I had time to go to various workshops to learn from other Indigenous cultures from around the world. When I reflect back, all the workshops were amazing, I really enjoyed a workshop about Indigenous health and wellness and the connection to land. It opened up my eyes to a different perspective on health.
It was very inspiring to be immersed with like-minded people from around the globe. At the opening and closing ceremonies, each represented country presented a traditional practice, whether it is a song, dance, drumming or throat singing. The passion and pride of every person were indescribable.
The other part about a large conference like WIPCE is meeting people and creating a network. I was lucky to meet ministers, chiefs, professors in the top of their field and other university students around the world that want to make a difference. I am very thankful for the opportunity that was given to me to go to this conference. To be able to share knowledge, network, learn and experience other Indigenous cultures was an experience I will never forget.