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Celebrating Culture

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Tear Resource Celebrating Culture

Churches, Prayer, Multimedia

Safina Stewart is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian leader and artist who has served on TEAR’s Dhumba (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support Program) Committee for several years.

In this short video, Safina shares about what she loves about her Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture.



“What do I love about my Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage?

I love the welcoming atmosphere that my people always extend. I love the generous and hospitable nature of my people, the way that it’s expressed through our ceremonies, our dance, even our words.

The way that we laugh; that we can turn anything into the most hilarious story and make people feel at ease.

I love our storytelling – it’s a whole other genre of art. It pulls out truth and deep knowledge that cannot be shown or expressed in any other mode.

I love the dignity of our old people. They could be down and out, totally unwell – but they have a dignity that holds so true like royalty. I’m so proud of them, I look up to them. They give strength. Every time I’m in the company of an elder, I feel privileged.

I love the way that our people give great value to our children and the next generation. The reason why we’re fighting is for the survival and thriving of our children.

I love our creativity. I love the way that we can take nothing and turn it into something – not just something, but something extraordinary.

My Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage gives me great pride and strength. It connects me in a very bold and strong way to the land that we’re on and to the First Peoples of this nation. But it also gives me a great responsibility and a great calling to be someone who actually holds my friends’ hands in both mobs. For those who are not Indigenous and for those who are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. I stand in the middle and help to make connections and friendships within the two.”


A beautiful prayer from Safina.

Lord teach me, Lord use me, Lord help me to understand so that I can actually be the heart and hands of Jesus to my Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters. Help me to not make the mistakes of the past but through great knowledge and understanding learn and act with excellent wisdom, excellent compassion, excellent love. Not mediocre, but excellent.