Heywire winner in Canberra

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Writers can come from far and wide, and no one knows that better than Jigalong’s Caitlin Tippet.

After writing a touching story about her experiences arriving in Jigalong and not knowing anything about her ancestors, language and culture, 16-year-old Caitlin Tippet has been named one of the 2017 ABC Heywire Trailblazers.

Along with 40 other young storytellers, Caitlin travelled to Canberra last week, where she has been able to share her views with members of Parliament, Senators and community leaders on various issues, from cultural diversity to substance abuse, mental health and access to services.

Caitlin said she really enjoyed the opportunity to go to Canberra.

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“I have learnt a lot and realised that our influence, while it may seem small, can be brought up and noticed,” she said.

“Having written my story and being told I’m a winner, it’s shown me that my experiences living in the community and learning my culture, they’re actually worth writing about.” Caitlin is a descendant of the Stolen Generation, according to her winning story, and the day she arrived at Jigalong community, she knew nothing of who she really was.

“As I lie here on the red dirt, I can't help smiling at myself,” she wrote.

“To think only months ago I hated camping and now, I can't imag-ine a life where I am not covered in red dirt dye from head to toe, where I stop craving for coal-cooked meat, or stop wanting to learn all I can ab-out my heritage, my culture and myself.”

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