I am a proud Indigenous womxn.
Marianne Wobcke identifies as an Indigenous Midwife, Nurse, Artist, Curator and Story Teller with Country connections to Turball and Girramay mobs.
Her career landscape for the last 40 plus years has been located at the interface of holistic health and the arts. She is the 2021 recipient of the Australia Council Ros Bower award for her contribution to community and culture. She is currently a PhD Candidate with Griffith University, where she continues encouraging young mum's to connect to their epic inherent wisdom and create their re-imagined, contemporary, urban Indigenous Dreaming stories through her unique models of Perinatal Dreaming and Understanding Country.
What's easy for you as a womxn? To embrace the feminine ecology of compassion, kindness and inclusiveness that connects us to nature and all living creatures.
What's difficult for you as a womxn? To accept the ongoing patriarchal ecology that reinforces division, exclusion, domination and violence.
As an Elder I feel a responsibility to …..
be the best version of myself possible and to share knowledge and wisdom, to support and give when ever called to do so.
Where do you feel a sense of belonging/community? Inside my skin, whenever I am thinking or being with those I love, respect and admire.
When you’re down, how do you get back up? I feel grateful for all the wonderful things in my life and gently consider that tomorrow is another day and another chance to do the best I can.
Describe an influential womxn in your life ….. There are so many, I adore mums, who are so generous in their love and capacity to give. Those who are passionately in love with their babies.
How do you maintain mental fitness/mental health? Through self-awareness, a daily practice of striving to be the best version of myself possible. Connecting with nature and embracing the generous, present moment as fully as I can, as often as I am able.
What brings you joy? Connecting with nature, dogs and all critters, babies, children, inspiring individuals and Elders.
How do you nurture your relationship with nature? Walking in the bush with my dog, being in my garden, the practice of Dadirri – Deep Listening.
What have you changed your mind about? The importance of a sense of identity, money and material belongings.
What makes you optimistic about the future? Babies and children. The innate goodness in people.
What motivates you? Changing myself for the better on a daily basis and what I can offer to the world to make it a better place.
Best piece of advice from a womxn? Love and cherish yourself first.
What are you working on? Passing on my Dreaming stories to the next generation.
How do you play? By immersing myself in creativity – music, dance, singing, making art, playing with dogs, animals, babies and children when ever possible.
Where do you live/work? I work on Turball and Jagera country and spend much of time here on the land where I was born and grew up. I live in Toowoomba, where I pay respects to the Giabal and Jarowair people. My Grandmother’s land is connected to the Girramay mob, North Queensland.
Midwifery is an ancient, sacred women's practice. In a presentation from 2012, Jilpia Nappaljari Jones describes Aboriginal birthing traditions:
"In my mother’s time birthing was carried out in one’s own country with all the rituals and traditions such as squatting over a prepare hole in the ground covered with soft grass and leaves as well as soft red sand. The female midwives such as my grandmothers and other designated women attended to give physical and emotional support such as holding and massage; this relieved the discomfort of labour. More particularly it removed fear, and fear is responsible for so many prolonged and complicated labours. Birth in our
traditional society was always ‘Women Business’."
Marianne combines art and health for the wellbeing of young mums, reducing fear and increasing trust in their instinctive knowledge of maternity. Often society trains us to question our instincts, but if we think of instincts as deep knowledge and re-learn to trust our heart we can tap into the Deep Listening that Marianne practices to find answers, to find ways to live a good life. And that good life is yours to define in your way, anyway you like. By immersing ourselves in women's stories we connect to a vast matriarchal wisdom.