Emma: Hello Chiaka, it’s so lovely to meet you. Thank you so much for having me
in your beautiful home.
Chiaka: Thank you.
Emma: Tell me about the work that you’re doing in your community.
Chiaka: The work I do is supporting women who are going through domestic violence, to get the support and the help that they need.
Part of my work is also creating awareness in the community. it’s really important that a woman, or anybody, feels confident to come out in the community and say, “Look this is what is happening. I need your support, I need your help.”
You know, domestic violence happens and we have to deal with it. We can’t hide under the cloak of “it’s not my business”, it’s actually something that affects us as a community and we need to create an environment that is welcoming and friendly for people to speak about these issues.
Emma: What are some of the Australian values that really resonate with you?
Chiaka: Equality. A fair go. The ability for people to be who they choose to be. It all stems from respect. Once we respect one another, everything else flows from there.
Chiaka: And having equal opportunities, irrespective of sex, gender, age, social orientation, religious orientation, just being who you want to be and choosing your own path.
Emma: I think if you can teach somebody that there’s some hope outside the situation that they’re in, and if you can give that to them. I mean it’s amazing. It really is.
Chiaka: You know what they say. Tomorrow would always be better than yesterday or today.
Chiaka: And that is hope. Once you have that, I think you can conquer anything.
Emma: What message would you like to get across to all Australians this Harmony Week?
Chiaka: We all have something to contribute to this beautiful country Australia, and we are all in our own individual ways doing that.
I hope we continue to do so, to build a beautiful Australia.
We are one.
Emma: We are one.
Chiaka: We are many.
Emma: We are many.
Chiaka: And we are Australians.
Emma: We are Australians.