Learning past for good of future

MANY people research their heritage trying to satisfy that innate need to know their roots.

Nicole Sten is fulfilling that dream with deliberation and determination to learn more of the past as she works toward her future.

The 29-year-old Aboriginal woman said that she is now reconnecting with her heritage.

“That was partly why I decided on studying Aboriginal Culture and Aboriginal Art at TAFE,” she said. “When I don't do my art, I feel lost; it's as if there's a break in that connection.”

Born with an intellectual disability and a speech impediment, by the age of 12 months, Nicole knew every colour and could point to them.

“The loss of two grandparents had a major impact on me, it was life changing,” she said.

“There were major negative changes in my life, but my recent journey to Darwin and Katherine was so positive. It felt right; there was a reconnection with my Aboriginality.”

Ms Sten believed that her art also helped her with that reconnection. It's displayed at RED Inc, and is used on the ANZ Bank credit card.

“RED Inc has been very important in helping me get my life together,” Ms Sten said. “I was a client with them from when I started at TAFE, but now I'm also a worker there teaching Aboriginal Art classes and I love it. “If it wasn't for RED Inc, I don't know where I'd be today. They are helping me realise my dreams and this is my way of giving back.”

RED Inc's, Jenny London, said that Nicole reconnects her spiritual self with her Aboriginality through art.

“And, over the years, she's used that to the benefit of others,” Ms London said.

“Nicole continues to give back, proudly telling others of her culture.”



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