My name is Serena Bara, mother of 2 and I come from Angurugu Community on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria situated 600km from Darwin. I am an Anindilyakwa/Nunggubuyu women but lived and grew up on Groote Eylandt. I was sent to boarding school for 4 yrs and upon returning to my community I landed myself a job as a receptionist with the Local Community Government Council and my journey began. Becoming the youngest council member on board I learned and challenged many obstacles, hurdling my way up throughout my career. I’ve also worked for Gebie (Groote Eylandt & Bickerton Island indigenous Enterprise) ALC (Anindilyakwa Land Council) prior to establishing ASAC (Anindilyakwa Services Aboriginal Corporation) then downsizing to Bush Medijina (current employee) I’ve sat on numerous boards representing my community and people as my passion is about helping my people. My current employment at Bush Medijina I love what I do, as a Chairwomen of the board I feel proud of the achievements we’ve achieved in such a short period of time and is privileged to be working with my board members for keeping our business sustained and these amazing Organization like IBA-Investible- South32- ALC (Anindilyakwa Land Council)- GEBIE (Groote Eylandt & Bickerton Island Enterprise) GEAT-(Groote Eylandt Aboriginal Trust) who are supporting us on our journey
About Bush Medijina
Most important to us is the wellbeing of Warningakalina women. As indigenous women, we face many challenges. With high rates of crime and violence in our communities we don’t always feel safe, impacting our mental health, and that of our children. School attendance rates are low; jobs are scarce. Our life expectancy is reduced due to systemic and genetic health issues, exacerbated by our remote location and limited access to services. The future of our people lies in building culture and capability across the archipelago. We wish to empower our women to become strong in both body and mind, better able to face these challenges and be leaders in, and advocates for, our own communities. The Bush Medijina shed is a safe place for us to meet and share our stories and culture. The program regularly initiates activities to educate Warningakalina women and their families on a range of health, wellbeing and community leadership topics. These activities also provide an opportunity to share and preserve cultural knowledge. We engage in a range of programs with local schools to ensure younger indigenous girls are learning to walk in two worlds; learning to successfully run a business, while paying respect to cultural traditions, and providing the opportunity to be on country with their aunties, mothers and grandmothers.