'From the Roo's Mouth' covers the many diverse individuals who work within our own Foundation and Community. For our final piece of 2019, we sat down with Marketing Manager Nicholas Wasiliev, who gave us his story about how the Foundation has fuelled his passion for storytelling.
My name is Nick Wasiliev and I serve as the Marketing Manager for the Bawurra Foundation. I'm a Macquarie University Graduate, and currently work full time. I am an author. I recently published my debut novel, WHEN MEN CRY, which is out now through my website and Lime Books. I specialise in marketing, journalism and creative writing, and love any medium that tells great stories.
Bawurra has been in my life for many years. I went to college and was close mates with Jesse [Slok] and Jackson [Whiting] for years before the Foundation was envisioned. When it was founded, it immediately sounded like something I wanted to be a part of. I've always had a fondness for Indigenous culture: oral communication, connection with Country, passed down over tens of thousands of years; what other culture on Earth can you say has lasted that long!
And more on those stories, when you listen to them, they feel old; they carry weight, truth and honesty. This is not history, being told to you from a textbook. This is a living, breathing reality that is all around you, it is a way of life. When you are there, you are experiencing it, feeling it, and being felt by it. For nearly fifty-thousand years, hundreds of Indigenous nations across our country were here, living in the moment. It is something incredibly special and worth cataloguing and remembering, and it was something I wanted to be a part of.
I approached Jesse and Alex when we were all still in uni, and said that if they ever needed any content, journalism connections, anything, I would be willing to help out. They went one step further and I began my Bawurra journey as a Content/Public Affairs Executive in 2017. I became obsessed with what Bawurra means; the potential good it could do for Indigenous peoples to bring their culture into the classroom and give them a strong, grounded sense of identity. In that, there is a story of reconciliation and self-determination within our Foundation.
From that role, I was incredibly honoured to be offered the role of Marketing Manager in 2018, a role that enables me to help tell our Community story within the online medium, as well as connect us with our partners. It is a process that is constantly challenging and always evolving, meaningful and of a lot of fun!
I love telling the Bawurra story. Their story is amazing, the people are amazing. To go to Communities, partner with them, become a part of them, and strive to empower them is something I love so dearly and I want to share. In the work we do, we are inspiring the next generation of Elders. This isn't something that will only last five, ten or fifteen years. The digital library is constant and ever evolving, as the culture evolves, so does the library. The Bawurra Library will be with Communities forever.
Community is a precious resource. It is a place of refuge, connection, a support network; it is a family. When Bawurra says that we strive to be a 'Community-First' organisation, we believe it. When we hear stories from those nations, both positive and negative, we are hearing stories that are tens of thousands of years old, from the same community on the same Country. It is something of so much value.
Uncle Phil Duncan (Patron of Bawurra) has told us of the need to always be about Community, and it is something I have personally taken to heart with Bawurra. Community is a living, breathing entity it is us and it is our job to preserve it and give back to it in any way we can. Through our travels to Country, through the content we upload to our library. We ARE Community. Community can only function if you give and support it as much as you can. It is our duty to do so.
The next decade is going to be so exciting for this Foundation! We are blessed to have so many people around us who are supporting us going forward. Whenever I see our library growing and taking shape, and being turned into an educational resource that will change lives, I get excited. I'm most excited about where our story goes next: the people we meet, the amazing Communities we'll contribute to and help. I cannot wait to tell that story.
We want to be a symbol of leadership and strength, but above all, we want to be an instigator for Community. I believe we have the beginnings of something that can do so much good in the world, and that is a story worth telling!