Isaiah talks on the global theme of Roots and knowing your identity.

About the speaker

Isaiah Dawe is a Butchulla and Gawara salt water man and his skin name is Yakamarri.

He is the CEO and Founder of ID. Know Yourself, the first Aboriginal not-for-profit mentoring organisation to specifically support Aboriginal teenagers in preparing them for life after foster care. Isaiah himself grew up in foster care. During his time in the system, he had 17 different placements. He lost his sense of belonging, purpose, hope, love and importantly his Aboriginal culture.

Isaiah is determined to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma and suffering for young people in care and give them a sense of cultural identity, direction, purpose and a feeling of belonging and love. His mission is to instil hope within every young Aboriginal person in Out of Home Care. “Because when there’s hope in the future, there is power in the present.”

As a child Isaiah was never able to experience the traditional dance of his people or have a connection to country. In December last year Isaiah had the incredible experience of going back to his roots and for the first time he danced with his aunts, uncles and extended family on his traditional country – Butchulla country.

Isaiah became the first Aboriginal person awarded the TAFE NSW Graduate of the Year in 2017, he has also been a Channel 7 Young Achiever Award Finalist, the first Indigenous Chair of the NSW Youth Advisory Committee and he was even on the first Indigenous team to sail from Sydney to Hobart. “My only sailing experience prior to this, was having caught the Manly ferry to Circular Quay, twice! By envisioning a life beyond your circumstances, knowing it is possible and believing in yourself, your dreams are beyond achievable.”

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