Story for Keeping Strong - Western Sydney

S1: Go on, tell us a yarn there.

S2: What kind of yarn would you like to hear? I know many dream time stories.

S1: Heard about them old stories, Unky. How about them new stories you talk about?

S2: I can tell you a story about us. Now imagine this as a community.

S1: What community are you talking about?

S2: Our community, young fella. Dream time stories hold our community together and community gatherings bring us together, and our culture.

S1: You mean like NAIDOC week and all that?

S2: Yes. But other stories are pulling our community apart. Like prejudice.

S1: Tell me about it. I get it every day.

S2: And like some of our mob, not having much to do. And you, young fellas, charging all night.

S3: Not just those young fellas charging, you old fellas like to party on. Go on. Get to the family side of the story.

S2: Yeah, yeah, I'm getting to it.

S1: Nore gunna gun!

S3: If you look into our community, you will see different families. You'll see our family...

S4: And our friends.

S3: You'll see your uncles and aunts. You can see your parents and your grandparents, and you can see yourself.

S1: What? And Aunty's cousin brother's wife's sister's mother's relations?

S4: What about me?

S1: Yeah, you too, sis.

S3: Some stories keep our family together like taking care of family spirit, family and friends looking after one another, spending time together, taking care of one another, really talking, and really listening.

S5: Yeah, you know we have to take care of family because there are some stories that can tear our family apart.

S4: Like you Uncle, being taken away.

S5: Yes, and all the others from the stolen generations. And family and friends not listening to one another, not talking to one another.

S3: Or doing anything together.

S2: Wait a minute. Who's telling this story?

S4: Well, come on then.

S2: If you look into your family, you will see yourself.

S5: Some stories can rip you apart. Sometimes you can feel very sad and empty inside. You may have trouble sleeping. It may be hard to think or concentrate. You may feel tired all the time and don't enjoy the things that you used to. You can spend more and more time on your own.

S1: I'm already there, Unc.

S5: You can feel like hurting yourself or think of dying.

S1: How can you tell if anyone's thinking like that?

S5: There can be signs.

S1: Like the ones you just talked about?

S5: Sometimes you can't see any signs at all. That's why we have to talk together, to find out what's really going on.

S3: What about what holds a person together?

S5: Like keeping in touch with people.

S3: And talking to someone, someone you can trust. Family or friend.

S4: Talking to family, that's shame job I can't talk to family. I can't do that.

S3: You might be embarrassed but it's nothing to be ashamed of. If you can't talk to family, maybe you can ring somebody like the Beyond Blue mob. Shouldn't be too hard for you, [dork....] You're always on the mobile.

S4: I'm not always on the phone, mum. I use the internet as well. I've been on that Beyond Blue website and Headspace too.

S1: How would these oldies know about the internet, sis?

S2: Enough outta you, boy. I can go to the Aboriginal Medical Service and get help.

S1: Yeah, but what if you don't live near one?

S2: Well, I don't know. What do you think? I'm a flamin' doctor?

S3: You can get any GP or counsellor to seek help. And taking care of yourself, talking kindly to yourself.

S1: What? Talking kindly to yourself?

S3: What sort of stories are you telling yourself? What sort of stories are you listening to? Stories that pull you and our family and our community apart?

S5: Or stories that hold our community, our family and you, together.

S2: So, what's keeping your community together? What's keeping you strong?

S6: For more information on depression and anxiety, visit or call 1300 22 4636. If you need immediate assistance, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.