My DEI Journey
As a child growing up in Australia in the 1970s I was told the usual contradictory, racist lies about Aboriginal people and this ‘empty’ land ‘discovered’ by English men. When I got older and sought out the truth, I was horrified to learn of the attempted genocide of the original inhabitants of this country and deeply ashamed of my coloniser forebears and of my own privilege.
In my 20s I volunteered with a social justice group working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and a South African anti-apartheid group. I met many people who kindly shared their stories with me and helped me unlearn my biases and ignorance. One of the highlights of my life was singing South African freedom songs in a choir for Nelson Mandela when he visited Melbourne after his release from prison in 1990.
The most recent stage in my learning and unlearning is working with Annie Gichuru of Uplifting Studios, who has opened my eyes to the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion education, language and policies for my business. I thank Annie for her Inclusive Language Intensive workshop and Represented course, for helping me see systemic racism more clearly and understand my privilege in it, and for teaching me how to be more inclusive in my life and business. I recommend Annie’s programs to any business owner who hasn’t already done this valuable work to remove racism from their business and themselves.
In addition to anti-racism work, I’m also working to undo my biases around gender and sexuality. I aim for my business to be a welcoming, safer space for anyone who wants to learn how to have easier periods and restore their natural alignment, whether they identify as a woman or not. My approach has arisen out of my own lived experience as a cis-gendered woman, along with the experience of the many cis-gendered women and non-binary people I have worked with in my practice.
My life and business are based on these values
Love, kindness & self-kindness, respect, inclusion, equity, trust, integrity and learning from mistakes.
- I seek to avoid causing harm to others but I acknowledge that as a white, straight, cis-gendered, able-bodied woman living in Australia I was born into and continue to have privilege.
- I acknowledge that my existence in this country was made possible by the attempted genocide of this Country’s original inhabitants and custodians and the violence, racism, exclusion and injustice they continue to experience today. I acknowledge this Country I live and work in was stolen from the Indigenous First Nations People and their Sovereignty was never ceded. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
- I acknowledge that our society today systematically excludes and discriminates against Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Colour, people living with disabilities, members of the LGBTIQ+ communities and women – especially women belonging to these other communities.
- I acknowledge that cis-gendered women have traditionally been humiliated, shamed, dismissed and trivialised because of the fact of our menstrual cycle and bleeding itself, so discussing this subject can feel threatening and vulnerable. I aim to create a supportive container so that people can positively reconnect with their bodies and their powerful self-healing intelligence.
- I am committed to traveling through my life speaking my truth, living my purpose and being kind to myself, while respecting, allowing and supporting others to do the same.
- I know that I won’t get it right all the time and will make mistakes but I have made the commitment to use my position of privilege to speak up against racism, sexism, ableism and homophobia/transphobia. I will not let embarrassment, shame or perfectionism block me from doing this vital work imperfectly as I know those feelings are tools of the patriarchy and white supremacy and must not be allowed to keep us silent.
- I will sometimes use the terms Feminine and Masculine to refer to the archetypal forces that exist in all of us to varying degrees regardless of gender. Because the Feminine has historically been suppressed and devalued and women have been shamed and oppressed, I am committed to uplifting women and the Feminine to restore balance in the world.
- I commit to continue educating myself about these issues.
- I commit to being an ally and reviewing these commitments regularly, learning from and correcting my mistakes. I know that although I have experienced discrimination for being a woman, it is tiny compared with the discrimination, exclusion and violence experienced by marginalised people every day.
- I commit to having stamina for this journey and taking responsibility for the part I can play in dismantling racism, sexism, homophobia/transphobia and ableism.
- I commit to hiring diverse staff, supporting diverse businesses and donating a percentage of my business profits to anti-discrimination organisations.