Me, Mum & Dad in the late 80s/early 90s

~I’m Gary. I’m approximately 23 years old and living in Melbourne. My family are a fine example of Australia’s history which occurred via invasion – that is, I’m part convict, part english and part Wiradjuri. Some people think I should just be Wiradjuri (Aboriginal), Irish or English or just Australian. However, I prefer to identify with the different aspects of my cultural identity because it’s more truthful and it makes more sense to me than to reject any part of who I am. Others also question, my identity because I have fair skin and dark blue eyes, but I can assure you I have two amazing Aboriginal grandparents and two amazing Australian ones as well and they know exactly who I am and where I come from and that tradition has continued right down to my generation.I’ve had a bit of a mixed experience growing up. We’ve always been very close with family and initally, my memories are all filled with cousins and the country and red dirt and animals. But they are also filled with bullying, not quite fitting in and just being different in a way that I’ve accepted but I may never fully understand. I realised I wasn’t quite straight or heterosexual somewhere along the line and came out to my family, which was really hard on all of us, but now we’re going very strong and I’m very happy.

I kind of left high school with no real confidence or idea of what I wanted from life. I’ve long expected that going to university would make me happy somehow, that hasn’t quite turned out to be true and I’ve dropped out of Social Work, Creative Industries, Science and Business degrees at various points purely because they weren’t giving me what I expected they would – some kind of fulfillment. I’ve also turned to religion and while I have a constantly changing belief system (I think flexibility and adaptation is normal, hence why I don’t embrace any one organised religion) and I found that it didn’t bring what I expect either. So now I am half way through a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Nutrition & Exercise Science and I have worked really hard and been really miserable at times, but I have learned alot and will be getting this degree and probably never going back to university.

So where am I now? Well I’m figuring that out. I’m getting this wretched degree, enjoying life, waiting tables and picking up a pen, a pencil, a needle and following my train of thought in the hopes it won’t run me off the tracks. ~Gary



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