It’s been important for me to confront and embrace the different threads of my identity to which I am reconciled. My dad’s grandfather was Scottish and my mother has some Malay heritage but this had little to do with my upbringing. While white Australian culture has impacted on my life, I was brought up with both parents identifying as Aboriginal and in an Aboriginal family with a strong Aboriginal cultural influence.
My parents, Barclay and Shirley Miller, passed onto me and my siblings strong family values of having a close-knit family, being affectionate, being generous and giving to others even when we didn’t have much ourselves, having open and honest communication and caring for each other and other people. They also inspired in us a spirit of excellence, particularly in our work lives.
We were taught to be responsible and work hard, do the best we can, and to take pride in work without a pride in self. As part of a community, our parents imparted to us a respect of people of different races and backgrounds, a friendly outgoing attitude, good manners and care for our appearance.
In our spiritual lives, we took from them a sense of belonging, a connection with the community, a love of the land, and, most of all, a love of God. One of the many ways we show this is through our love of music. Our family all either play instruments or sing through which we show our love and devotion to God.