14 episodes

Inspiring conversations with Indigenous role models and trailblazers, hosted by Marlee Silva.

Always was, always will be our stories Marlee Silva

    • Personal Journals

Inspiring conversations with Indigenous role models and trailblazers, hosted by Marlee Silva.

    EP11: 'Coming Out Blak', with Matika Little and Courtney Hagen

    EP11: 'Coming Out Blak', with Matika Little and Courtney Hagen

    This episode is sponsored by Bumble, a dating app that is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for its community of over 95 million users.

    Bumble has partnered with experts at a range of LGBTQIA+ advocacy organisations to provide a space where people from across the gender platform feel safe and seen.

    With guidance from the community Bumble has created an extensive list of gender options for both new and existing users to choose from. When setting up their profile users can select a binary choice or tap "more options" to expand the list - and your choice can be updated at any time. Users can also choose if they'd like to show their gender identity to potential matches, which appears alongside profile badges.

    On Bumble, how you identify is up to you. Download Bumble today and make the first move. One app, three modes, one mission.

    . . .

    Growing up different is tough no matter who you are or where you’re from.

    Each of us journeys through some type of identity discovery, whether it be because of our culture, ethnicity, how we look or what our sexuality is.

    As a heteronormative, cis gendered person myself, the pressure and obstacles I faced in my adolescence around justifying my Aboriginal identity everyday was exhausting enough, I couldn’t even imagine the extra layers of difficulty that come with that, for mob who are queer too.

    Courtney Hagen and Matika Little are black, gay and proud.

    These incredible women, who connected online through their common experiences of being Aboriginal and identifying as lesbian, have built an incredibly vital platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

    ‘Coming Out Blak’ is their podcast which they use to share their own experiences, discuss the issues that matter the most to them and provide a safe space for other people who are struggling with their sexual identity.

    Intersectionality and the representation of diverse voices within the black community is so incredibly important - and a broader, more accurate picture of who we are as one mob, is also beautiful.

    There’s no one way to be black and our differences make us stronger together.

    I’m so excited to share this chat with you today with Courtney and Matika. They’re such kind and passionate tiddas who have a lot to share and a lot we can all learn from.



    Thank you so much Courtney and Matika for making the time to yarn with me today! Make sure you check out their podcast ‘Coming Out Blak’ wherever you get your pods or follow them on instagram @comingoutblak.

    . . .

    Thank you also to Bumble for sponsoring today’s episode and celebrating and elevating the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models.

    ….

    Always Was, Always Will Be Our Stories is Written, Hosted and Edited by Marlee Silva and now produced with help of Keely Silva, on the unceded lands of the Dharrawal people. We pay our deepest respects to those people and their Elders past and present, whose connection to this place has remained unbroken for over 60 thousand years.

    Follow us on Instagram @alwaysourstories

    . . .

    Theme Music: 'Run' by Tristan Barton

    Podcast Artwork: @wuruhi.auaha

    • 37 min
    EP10: 'Breaking the cycle', Braidon Burns

    EP10: 'Breaking the cycle', Braidon Burns

    In interviews and general conversation, people often ask me who my role models are or who I look up to and while I struggle sometimes with answering that, because I’m lucky enough to find inspiration in so many moments with different individuals every day - there is one particular person whose story and strength is at the back of my mind as a constant source of inspiration and hope.

    It might be surprising to some, but one of my biggest role models is actually one of my younger cousins. Having grown up in the care of his grandparents, facing trauma caused by a Mum and Dad who were constantly in and out of jail and around drugs - and a range of other obstacles and tough times, the ways in which he has emerged as not only incredibly successful, but also equally kind, generous and committed to giving back, never ceases to amaze me.

    Proud Gamilaroi man, Braidon Burns' name is one you probably associate mostly with the Souths Sydney Rabbitohs, and while he is a great rugby league player, it’s the way he holds himself - and how it understands his position as a leader for the next generation - off the field that I wanted to showcase in today’s chat.

    We talk about his start in life, the realisations he’s had in the ways his childhood trauma has effected him today and his commitment to breaking the cycle, especially for his little brother Dray, who he now has in his care.

    Put simply, this conversation is one you absolutely need to hear and I'm honoured to be bringing it to you.

    Massive thanks to Braidon on making the time and wishing you the speediest recovery with your recent on-field knee injury.

    . . .

    Always Was, Always Will Be Our Stories is Written, Hosted and Edited by Marlee Silva and now produced with help of Keely Silva, on the unceded lands of the Dharrawal people. We pay our deepest respects to those people and their Elders past and present, whose connection to this place has remained unbroken for over 60 thousand years.

    Follow us on Instagram @alwaysourstories

    . . .

    Theme Music: 'Run' by Tristan Barton

    Podcast Artwork: @wuruhi.auaha

    • 31 min
    EP9: 'Giving back with Cultural Choice Association', Connor Watson

    EP9: 'Giving back with Cultural Choice Association', Connor Watson

    In lieu of a sponsor this week, we have donated both the space and money associated to Cultural Choice Association to support their work in preventing Aboriginal youth suicide.

    This is an issue we’ve spoken about before on the podcast and is one I’ll personally always make space to talk about, as it’s one of the issues I am most passionate about.

    Unsurprisingly, this conversation also comes with a content warning as there are discussions of suicide and depression.



    In 2017, the latest published statistics revealed suicide as the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people between 5 and 17 years old.

    And over the past five years, despite the fact that we only make up 2.8% of the youth population, one in every four Australian children who died by suicide was Indigenous.

    Prior to invasion, suicide was not a concept known nor seen in our communities, and a senate enquiry into this epidemic facing our young people today has revealed it is directly correlated to the intergenerational trauma, disconnect from culture and related disadvantage caused by colonisation.

    Each of these numbers represents a child. A name. An empty seat at the dinner table. A life full of opportunity, never to be fully realised.

    This issue is one of the hardest to discuss, because often, the deeper you go, the more questions you have rather than are answered.

    But it has to be talked about, and thankfully, like my guest on today’s episode, there are incredible people out there committed to making a difference.

    Connor Watson, proud Gamilaroi man and Newcastle Knights player, was set on a few things from a young age - he was going to play in the NRL and no matter what, he was going to find a way to give back to our mob when he got there.

    Connor, alongside his amazing mum Jodie, dad Mark and younger brother Fletcher, have turned family tragedy into passion and hard work driven toward Aboriginal youth suicide prevention through their non-profit, Cultural Choice Association.

    I’m privileged to have seen the work the association does on the ground and the impact it has on our young ones, so I couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing you Connor’s story and a glimpse into that work in today’s chat. 

    Throughout this discussion please remember, it is ok not to feel ok, but it isn’t ok not do do something about it, if you need help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

    . . .

    Thank you so much Connor for taking the time out to jump on and share your story today. If you want to support Cultural Choice Association please check out their Instagram, Facebook and website and consider donating whatever you can to their GoFundMe: https://gf.me/u/yf7p94

    You can also help by sharing this episode and their page on your own socials or with friends/family too!

    . . .

    Always Was, Always Will Be Our Stories is Written, Hosted and Edited by Marlee Silva and now produced with help of Keely Silva, on the unceded lands of the Dharrawal people. We pay our deepest respects to those people and their Elders past and present, whose connection to this place has remained unbroken for over 60 thousand years.

    Follow us on Instagram @alwaysourstories

    . . .

    Theme Music: 'Run' by Tristan Barton 

    Podcast Artwork: @wuruhi.auaha

    • 44 min
    EP8: 'Clothing to start a conversation', Sianna Catullo and Laura Thompson of Clothing the Gap

    EP8: 'Clothing to start a conversation', Sianna Catullo and Laura Thompson of Clothing the Gap

    On today’s episode I yarn with the dynamic duo behind one of the most recognisable Aboriginal owned and run clothing brands in the country - Clothing the Gap. Laura Thompson and Sianna Catullo are boss tiddas with incredible business minds and an attitude that sees them always striving to be better and do more. Leading a small but dynamic and passionate team, they’ve grown their business from products designed to work as health incentives attached to the Spark Health Promotion Business down in Victoria, to a now stand alone brand producing deadly apparel for all people, across the continent.

    Not only does the Clothing the Gap apparel look insanely cool, but it also works as a conversation starter around such campaigns as  #Freetheflag, Shades of Deadly and their newest initiatives #RunRona and the NAIDOC March virtual running events. I learnt so much in this chat and have been so influenced by the work this mob does, they’ve even turned me into a runner - something I’d never thought I’d be. This was recorded just before #RunRona, where I ran 10kms for the first time in my life and you’ll hear me be reluctant when the girls talk about convincing me to do the same for their NAIDOC event - but I ended up doing that too. Laura and Sianna are incredible and I hope leave you feeling as inspired as I was.

    . . .

    Thank you so much Sianna and Laura for all the incredible work you do with your team and for making the time!

    Go and support @clothingthegap on Instagram and check out their products on their website: https://clothingthegap.com.au/

    , , ,

    Always Was, Always Will Be Our Stories is Written, Hosted, Produced and Edited by Marlee Silva, on the unceded lands of the Dharrawal people. We pay our deepest respects to those people and their Elders past and present, whose connection to this place has remained unbroken for over 60 thousand years. 

    Follow us on Instagram @alwaysourstories 

    . . . 

    Theme Music: 'Run' by Tristan Barton Podcast Artwork: @wuruhi.auaha

    • 47 min
    EP7: 'The second ever Aboriginal woman to represent Australia in cricket', Ashleigh Gardner

    EP7: 'The second ever Aboriginal woman to represent Australia in cricket', Ashleigh Gardner

    With all the disjointment of the ‘Australian’ identity, it’s hard to pin down anything that universally binds us or even something that a good majority of people who live across this continent today can really agree on or join in on together. One thing that gets pretty close though, is our relationship to sport.
    There are definitely individuals who don’t play or support it, but I would take a fair stab at saying it’s a part of the life of most people who live in Australia. It’s also the realm in which our mob have basically always represented - knowing that, could you answer the question, what were the circumstances surrounding the first ever sporting team to represent Australia on an international level?
    In 1868, it was a cricket team from the Melbourne Cricket Club comprised of 13 Aboriginal men of the Jardwadjali, Gunditjmara and Wotjobaluk tribes, who were coached and captained by an ex all-England cricketer, Charles Lawrence throughout a six month tour of England that year.
    Our people’s history with cricket is a long one, and for our women, it was started by the incredible Faith Thomas. Who was not only the first Aboriginal cricketer to play for Australia, she is also the first Aboriginal woman to represent Australia in any sport.
    She played in 1958 and it wouldn’t be until 61 years later that another tidda would follow in her footsteps.
    On today’s episode, my guest is Muruwari woman and the second ever Aboriginal woman to represent Australia in cricket, Ashleigh Gardner.
    She played her first game in the baggy green at just 20 years old and three years later, earlier this year, she was part of the history making team who won the T20 Women’s World Cup in front of that history making crowd at the MCG.
    Ashleigh so kindly invited me into her home in Sydney for this chat, and it was recorded before I got my deadly rode caster pro and other kit, so I’ll admit its a bit more on the rookie side with the audio.
    Regardless, I know Ashleigh’s story will inspire you, to get out there and go for it - or even, as it did for me, do a job of converting me into a cricket fan.
    . . .
    Thank you so much to Ashleigh for making the time to be a part of this episode, if you'd like to keep up to date with what she's doing you can follow her on Instagram @ashleigh_gardner97
    . . .
    Always Was, Always Will Be Our Stories is Written, Hosted, Produced and Edited by Marlee Silva, on the unceded lands of the Dharrawal people. We pay our deepest respects to those people and their Elders past and present, whose connection to this place has remained unbroken for over 60 thousand years.
    Follow us on Instagram @alwaysourstories
    . . .
    Theme Music: 'Run' by Tristan Barton
    Podcast Artwork: @wuruhi.auaha

    • 30 min
    SPECIAL EPISODE: 'A Koori Doctor on getting in to medicine and facing COVID19' Dr. Erika Chapman-Burgess

    SPECIAL EPISODE: 'A Koori Doctor on getting in to medicine and facing COVID19' Dr. Erika Chapman-Burgess

    DISCLAIMER: Today's guest is medical professional but not an expert in infection control or an infectious diseases expert, so if anyone wants any further information regarding the COVID19 pandemic they should go to the local state govt webpage on COVID-19 advice or call their local COVID-19 hotline.

    . . . 

    From Gomeroi, Ngurrabul and Kooma, to Quintuplet and Medical Doctor - my guest on today’s special bonus episode of Always was, always will be our stories, Dr. Erika Chapman-Burgess, has some incredible and unique labels attached to her name.

    When my sister Keely and I started Tiddas 4 Tiddas in 2018, we had the hopes of putting incredible female role models in the view of the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women - and when we imagined what those role models were like, women like Erika were exactly what fit.

    In today’s chat you’ll hear her speak about her journey into medicine, advice for the next generation looking at the same career, what it’s like growing up in the only family with Aboriginal Quintuplets in the country and very importantly, some tips and things to think about regarding COVID19!

    Ambitious, hard working and incredibly proud of who she is and where she’s come from, although I’ll never work in medicine, I feel myself looking up to Erika in so many ways. To think only a couple of decades ago, the concept of a blackfulla doctor might’ve seemed out of reach is scary - but it also emphasises the importance of what mob like Erika are doing, and as we know, having our health managed in our hands, is a powerful key to a brighter and prosperous future.

    Stay safe out there you mob, look after each other and now, enjoy the show.

    . . .

    Thank you so much to Dr. Chapman Burgess for sitting down and sharing your wisdom today! You’re an inspiration to so many and we can’t wait to watch more follow in your footsteps!

    . . .

    This episode of Always was, Always will be our stories is proudly supported by 'Your Health, Your Future' a campaign developed by the NSW AH&MRC. Did you know that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are entitled to receive a free comprehensive health check each year?  Regular visits to the doctor to access support and prevent or better manage chronic conditions are vital for us to maintain well and prosperous lives. Speak with your local Aboriginal Medical Service today to ask for a ‘Health Assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (715)’ and build yourselves and your mob a brighter and healthier future.

    . . .

    Always Was, Always Will Be Our Stories is Written, Hosted, Produced and Edited by Marlee Silva, on the unceded lands of the Dharrawal people. We pay our deepest respects to those people and their Elders past and present, whose connection to this place has remained unbroken for over 60 thousand years.

    Follow us on Instagram @alwaysourstories

    . . .

    Theme Music: 'Run' by Tristan Barton

    Podcast Artwork: @wuruhi.auaha

    • 42 min

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