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  • John Carey - Celebrant

Reconnecting with a lost identity

One of my passions is to be an advocate for the recognition of aboriginal people as the first inhabitants of this great land we all call home, Australia. During the week I was privileged to have aboriginal elders, the traditional owners of the lands on which I took this photo share a few of their stories about their connection to this land.

Their trust in sharing those with me as we drove through Tully Falls National Park will always remain a treasured gift.

I cannot imagine a life without connection to my elders, and because of this I place very great importance on this gift continuing through my own children's lives.

I value immensely that I know where I'm from and who my parents are. I deeply value that I have the added advantage of having some understanding of who my ancestors are thanks to minimal disruptions, wars or other activities the most important part of my my humanity has not been removed or devalued.

Quite often during my meetings with couples preparing to marry, and as a result of needing to provide identification documents, I'm entrusted with stories of two people and their journey so far. Occasionally there are sad stories where individuals carry a sense of loss or disconnection with their forebears, and that gap is real and can have all sorts of impacts on how a couple prepare and enjoy their wedding day.

Identity - it can't be bought or sold - I'm committed to being part of both new identities formed through marriage, and healing those broken because of stolen or invalidated identities.

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