I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I live, and pay my respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.

Ginagay njawyn, ngaya yaam Adelaide. Ngaya yaam Gumbaiyngirr Worimi nyami. Ngaya ngayinggi Wonnarua, Maitland.

Ginagay njawyn, hey you mob, my name’s Adelaide. I’m a Gumbaiynggirr and Worimi woman living on Wonnarua Country now known as Maitland.

I was lucky enough to be at Linuwel for my entire education, from Kindergarten until year 11. After year 11, with the encouragement of my wonderful teacher, I took some time off to explore dancing and expand my cultural knowledge. However, I’d always wanted to go to university so, in September of what would’ve been my Year 12, I took the STAT test and was accepted into Architecture at Newcastle University.

Linuwel has always taught me that the arts were just as valuable as the sciences, and I’ve noticed that this way of thinking has really helped me in my degree which is the perfect balance of those two things. At Linuwel it was always very clear how important it is to respect nature and the cultures of the land, and this has stayed with me throughout my further studies. I’m currently the Indigenous representative for the School of Architecture at Newcastle and have been able to work with staff to make courses more inclusive of Indigenous Australians, and I am also part of a collective for Indigenous women in design called @deadly_djurumin, where we aim to help people understand how to design and live in a way that respects and celebrates the oldest living culture on Earth.

Since the start of my degree, I’ve been a proud member of Career Trackers, a community for Indigenous Highschool and University students. Through them I’ve interned 5 times over the last 2 years with Cox Architecture. At Cox I have mainly focussed on transport, with my biggest project being the Western Sydney Airport.

Outside of my degree, I’ve been focussing on culture. Linuwel gave me the opportunity to learn some key words in Gathang language growing up, as well as dreaming stories and protocols. To expand on that I’ve started studying my mob’s language and sharing bits and pieces of it online and at work for others to learn with me.

My three years post-Linuwel have been filled with learning, creativity, and exploring my culture. I’m certain that everything I’ve achieved thus far couldn’t have been done without the values instilled in me at Linuwel, and the amazing support network I built there.

Darrundang, thanks.

Adelaide Cowan