Better Together is a series about young people who are doing good things and the people that inspire and motivate them to get it done. Maybe it’s your best friend, a teacher at school or your awesome big sister. Whoever it is they got your back.
How awesome would it be to be able to go through with life, side by side with someone who is just as passionate and driven as you are? Meet Paul and Nayuka. These two are brother and sister. And this is what they get to do.
We chatted to Paul Gorrie to see who his go-to person is – the person who is always there to inspire him, support him and teach him.
Paul, a Gunai/Kurnai, Yorta Yorta man, works for the Climate Action Network Australia and is a volunteer for Seed, Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network. When he isn’t making the world a better place, he enjoys creating music and DJing. “I think that music is a really cool way to connect people,” Paul says. We definitely agree.
Even though he doesn’t feel like he has a philosophy, what he takes with him through life is to not always take things at face value – you always need to understand that there is more than meets the eye with people, situations and experiences. Paul also believes it is important to look after this earth and give back just as much as we take.
“At the moment, I am really passionate about protecting country from fossil fuel extraction and climate change. It stems back from our colonial history, it is so connected that I tend to focus just not on the issues that have to do with protecting the land and the environment but also the issues with the discrimination that goes with it as well. The different attitudes towards Aboriginal people and what I have been focusing on in the last 2 years is becoming part of the climate change movement.”
Nayuka, Paul’s older sister, sparked Paul’s involvement with AYCC. “Seeing her go out there and find new ways to make change really inspired me. It took me awhile to get involved but I felt more comfortable knowing she had been involved in the past,” says Paul.
Not only is Nayuka an awesome sister, she is also a writer, activist and program manager in the youth space. Nayuka is Paul’s go to person. His adviser. And his teacher, with a wealth of knowledge.
“I am very lucky that I can access that knowledge as her brother. I try to use that for good and for the better. The most powerful lesson she has taught me is to never under-value the teachings of our women in our community and to always respect them.”
What a powerful lesson.
Paul and Nayuka have always been close but starting at their inner city high school back in the day, made them even closer. Being thrown in the deep end together made their relationship stronger, valuing each other so much more. “From there we realised we wanted to see good things happen for people and ourselves, we started to notice how we were treated differently for being Aboriginal. This really connected us,” says Paul.
Once again, here are two people who are passionate, driven and inspiring each other. You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet along the way – Paul and Nayuka are lucky enough to get to go through life side by side.
They are better together!
FYA would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations where the interview and production for this piece took place. We pay respect to elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge that this always was and always will be Aboriginal land and that sovereignty for this land was never ceded.