The Bethlehem College Ashfield student’s story ‘Just a Young Girl’ was selected from hundreds of entries to appear in the anthology Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, released in April, alongside works by prominent Australians including Adam Goodes and Miranda Tapsell.
Compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, the widely praised anthology aims to highlight the diversity of Aboriginal people’s lives and broaden understanding of their cultures among the wider community.
Taryn’s story is about her uncle, who she described as her role model.
It’s important to get the diversity of Indigenous people out there
“He knows all the stories about my grandparents, my great grandparents, everything,” she said.
“The story is all about him: how he taught me and my cousins that family is everything, and how through thick and thin we always stuck together.”
NAIDOC week became an additional opportunity for Taryn to share her story. Staff at Strathfield North Public School invited her to present it for students in the spirit of the Aboriginal oral tradition.
Taryn said the experience was incredibly valuable for her personally, but also hoped it helped open the eyes of her young audience.
“NAIDOC week is important because there’s a real generalisation around the typical Aboriginal family and Aboriginal person,” she said.
“The book is all about sharing different Indigenous people’s perspectives – and it’s important to get the diversity of Indigenous people out there, because everyone’s got different stories and everyone grows up differently.”