Heartfelt response to how the Murujuga women will find courage to speak before UN

Traditional custodians Raylene Cooper and Josie Alec spoke with Yahoo News Australia ahead of their speeches before the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Interview: Michael Dahlstrom

Video transcript

RAELENE COOPER: I'm the nerve-wracking one, I get really emotional in all sorts of ways. This has been an emotional journey for myself and my mom. Josie is my mom's youngest sister. Hence, I call her mom Josie. So it's been a long, long battle for my mom and myself for many, many years. And today, her voice will be heard today.

So me trying not to break out my sweat or get really teared up about it is going to be the hardest thing because it's been a very long journey. Very long journey. And we're going there to speak on behalf of everybody.

JOSIE ALEC: Yeah. And for me, I suppose, it's the heart center. It's everything that we do, and it's everything we were taught by our ancestors and especially through the stories on the rocks. Our heart center is the most powerful tool. So if we connect with our heart, our minds, and our voices together, then that strength comes. We're talking from the heart of our country.

So I think for me, that's where I find my strength always. And knowing that my family is supporting, knowing that our community is supporting, that's strength right there in itself. So yeah.

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