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Jade Brook is a proud Adjahdura/Narungga and Kaurna woman with deep roots across several South Australian communities through her maternal bloodlines. Her grandmother, Marjorie Beare-Angie was a formidable figure who contributed significantly to their community, while through her English bloodline, her great-great-great-grandfather helped draft part of the Constitution regarding education. Jade's heritage, encompassing strong family ties and cultural identity, shapes her current endeavors and commitment to First Nations advocacy.

In her professional life, Jade serves as the Partnerships Manager for South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory at Australians Together. Her role involves building relationships and guiding educational and corporate spaces to incorporate First Nations perspectives. Jade also runs her own workshops and cultural tours, sharing knowledge passed down from elders.

Beyond her professional responsibilities, Jade leads Love Out Loud Mount Barker, an initiative supporting families facing food insecurity in the Adelaide Hills. This community-focused work involves distributing free food and offering support to those in need.

Jade's dedication to community work was recently recognized when she was named the 2024 South Australian Active Citizen of the Year. Initially awarded by the Mount Barker District Council for her local contributions, Jade's impact was further acknowledged at the state level on the 26th of January, known by many as either Australia Day, Invasion Day, or Survival Day, reflecting her significant efforts and commitment to her community.

Receiving the Australia Day Award on January 26th was a complex experience for Jade, given the date's significance for First Nations people. While honored to be recognized, she encountered racism and derogatory remarks during the event. However, strong allies in the room provided support, which highlighted the importance of solidarity in reconciliation efforts.

Unfortunately, not all those who were confronted about their remarks chose to understand how they were offensive. But Jade believes in the necessity of acknowledging mistakes and learning from them and appreciates the ones who took responsibility and sought to grow from their errors, hoping for a broader societal shift towards deeper understanding and reconciliation.

Jade's passion for community work stems from her personal experiences of brokenness and healing. She faced significant challenges, including drug addiction and mental health battles, which led her through a cycle of disconnection and hardship. Through reconnecting with her Aboriginal community, church, and spirituality, Jade began her journey of healing and restoration. These experiences fuel her desire to help others find hope and community support.

Jade emphasizes the importance of wanting and accepting support as a crucial step in healing. Initially feeling undeserving, she eventually embraced the help offered by her community, leading to her recovery and empowerment. She underscores the reciprocal nature of relationships within her culture, where contributing and receiving support is vital for balance and well-being.

Jade's connection to her country is profoundly healing. After battling cancer and enduring a lengthy hospital stay, she longed to return to the saltwater. When she finally did, the experience of placing her feet in the water marked the beginning of her recovery. She describes these moments on Country as spiritual and deeply significant, reinforcing her cultural and familial ties.

For Jade, understanding her true identity and cultural roots is essential. She emphasizes the profound impact of knowing one's identity, especially for those affected by the nation's history, and strives to help others find their sense of belonging.

Jade Brook's story is one of resilience, cultural pride, and unwavering commitment to her community. Her work with Australians Together, her personal workshops, and her leadership in community initiatives like Love Out Loud Mount Barker illustrate her dedication to embedding First Nations perspectives and fostering community support. Through her journey of healing and empowerment, Jade continues to inspire and advocate for meaningful reconciliation and cultural understanding.

Connect with Jade on social media. Connect with Jade Brook Aboriginal Workshops. Learn more about Australians Together. 

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Post by Team Writer
Jul 10, 2024 2:46:52 PM