‘It’s okay to be you’: Selina Walker guest speaker at local International Women’s Day Breakfast

Selina Walker was the guest speaker for the Archdiocesan Women’s Taskforce, 2024 International Women’s Breakfast

“It’s okay to be you” was the clear message communicated at this year’s annual International Women’s Day Breakfast, which brought together women of all ages and a few brave men.

Facilitated by the Archdiocesan Women’s Taskforce, nearly 120 participants descended on the Ainslee Football Club in Canberra to reconnect with friends and listen to the event’s main speaker, Selina Walker, a respected Ngunnawal woman from the ACT.

Ms Walker, ACT’s Local Hero for 2024, is the proud granddaughter of Senior Ngunnawal Elder Aunty Anges Shea, who died last year at 91.

She has been a popular advocate of reconciliation and is well known for her work with young Indigenous people, particularly vulnerable children in out-of-home care.

Ms Walker told the gathering that she is passionate about breaking down barriers and creating a pathway where everybody can have a say.

Nearly 120 attendees gathered for the annual International Women’s Breakfast. Many Canberra Catholic Colleges, including St Clare’s, Daramalan, Merici, and St Francis Xavier, had senior student and staff representation.

Often asked about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s deep connection to country, their culture and spirituality, Ms Walker said, “Unfortunately for many, they will never understand.”

“However, I’ve figured out a way to help you understand and empathise with us, and that is to think about an amputated limb,” she said.

“I understand that when someone has a leg amputated, although it can no longer be seen, the amputee still has the sensation of that connection. This is similar for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and children in particular- they are connected to Dreamtime and their ancestors, but it can not be seen or touched. 

Two St Francis Xavier College Canberra captains and senior staff attended the breakfast.

“I am an Aboriginal person – I am a square peg, and the white man’s world is a round hole,” and I am never ever going to fit in because we are so different.

“During COVID, we all needed to change our way of operating – so we had to be like a triangle.

Catholic Education staff L-R, Lachie Eveston, Katrina Cambridge and Selina Stanford

“Together, we need to find a way to build a hexagon. A triangle, square, and circle all fit within a hexagon. We need to find a way that will work for everyone,” she said.

Since the beginning of 2018, Ms Walker has played a pivotal role in the Catholic Schools Parents Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn (CSPACG), channelling her passion into fostering a supportive environment for Catholic families, students, and parents/carers alike.





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