Our peer mentor Mr. J.F. created this piece of artwork representing his relationships with his family; communities and his connection to the Torres Strait; Kaurna; Arrernte; Warlpiri and Larrakia land.
Mr. J.F. shared with Rize Above that the dingo represents how much he knows about culture and how far he could go from home. Mr. J.F. has a close connection with animals since he was a kid. He would go out and pet them because he treats them as part of the family, and this is something Mr. J.F. wants to pass on to the next generation.
“The person is me standing on my land doing traditional dance” said Mr. J.F. who have never learnt how to dance until the age of 14, “The Elders from communities taught me and it has been so powerful”. The bright colour reflects sand under the sun and represents Mr. J.F.’s excitement and happiness as a young man showing where he belongs. Where Mr. J.F. comes from is a dry place where swimming in a lake is one of his favourite things to do in hot summers.
Mr. J.F. became a peer mentor with Rize Above program in 2022 and he extended his ability of respectful listening and understanding of the importance of staying connected and healthy relationships. After managing the challenges in primary school, Mr. J.F. will graduate from year 12 this year and he is proud as he will be the first one in his family who achieve this. Looking forward to becoming an SSO after graduation, Mr. J.F.’s connection to the school and communities continues…
* Mr. J.F. is how the peer-mentor would like to be acknowledged.