As a Wiradjuri man, I often wonder how a non-Indigenous mother would raise an Indigenous son or daughter. Does she reflect on culture? How would she do that, especially if you’re dislocated from country and family? Is it different or the needs of love and care will be everything your child requires for a fulfilling life?
Tara, former model now photographer, blogger and mother of a beautiful baby girl Penelope, gives her thoughts on Mothers Day.
Guest writer: Tara Hodges
I am the proud Mother of a beautiful little Wiradjuri/ Palawa girl, Penelope Larila.
Penelope connecting to mother earth
On Mothers Day, and always, I take the time to reflect on her Aboriginality & what that, along with Motherhood means to me.
My Daughter comes from strong People, rich in culture & in spirit. When she was born, we bathed her in water from Wiradjuri Country to pay homage to her Grandfathers People. Her middle name, Larila means Platypus (Palawakani) & we gave her this name to pay homage to her Grandmothers people.
I believe it is vital Penelope keeps her connection to country & to community. In our home, that means speaking daily about her identity, learning language, attending community events, eating bush tucker & taking pride in who she is & where she comes from.
Tara & Penelope
I think of other Children, that like Penelope may have a Non-Aboriginal Parent, or Carer. Those that may not understand the importance of keeping their Child connected to Culture, which though I couldn’t understand, can only imagine there may be a lot of confusion & hurt for a child lacking in a state of being, or sense of self.
Like most Mothers, I often think of Penelope’s future.
It saddens me to think of the trials in which she may face & that just for being who she is; it’s likely she will face more than most. With those trials, comes great pride of being part of the Worlds oldest surviving & thriving culture. There is nothing that will take that away from her. As a Mother, I will provide my Daughter with unconditional love, care & all the necessary tools in life to make her mark. And as her Mother, I know she will.
Tara’s photography, studio and contact can be found at: http://larilaimages.com.au