17 Feb G Day Stories: Suzette
Speaker, Suzette Amaya answers questions about her childhood and her participation in G Day.
What was life like for you as a 10-12 year old girl?
My childhood was complicated, filled with joyous moments, racism, low self esteem, anger and resentment. I was raised in a Christian Private Schooling where I was the only Aboriginal Person. I grew up too fast and had learned from a life of dysfunction. All my extended family members were residential school survivors. I dreamt of a world where I would be treated as an equal. I felt ashamed of a family riddled with alcoholism, poverty and abuse. I craved what I thought was a normal TV family life. My father died when I was four years old and I became a survivor of sexual abuse—I thought my only hope was to grow up and move out.
Education and Sports gave me happiness and confidence. It became my goal to understand my culture, set goals and redefine myself at an early age. I aimed to break the cycles of the stereotypes Aboriginal Peoples endure. To live a life without validation from others To be proud to be me! My childhood was a difficult journey, but the adversities and experiences I faced made me whole and filled me with esteem and gratitude.
My dreams have come true! I have accomplished what I set out to do and I’m blessed with a husband and three beautiful children.
Why are you participating in G Day?
I believe all girls have the right to a life filled with positive experiences, education, healthy lives and practical knowledge. I am supporting G Day For Girls to empower young girls to be girls. I want to share my story to show what is possible. We can overcome bullying, poverty, abuse, low self esteem, and come out on top!
What pieces of advice might you have for your adolescent self?
This young life is temporary—ENJOY IT! Don’t grow up too fast and don’t worry about what other people think! Be confident, proud and HAVE FUN! Spend more time in the fresh air and don’t be afraid to talk to an adult if you have any concerns or questions.