Once upon a time… (How Creative Spirits started)
Many years ago, after I had finished my studies in Germany, I visited the Australian Embassy to apply for a visa because I wanted to go backpacking there.
“Visa?” asked the man behind the counter after he had gone through my paperwork. “You are going home, mate!” he exclaimed, seeing that I had been born there. (I was two years old when my parents returned to Germany.)
After my travels I started Creative Spirits, initially to document my experiences and the places I had visited in Australia, especially those with an Aboriginal significance. Two more Aussie holidays followed until I decided to go back and live there. I felt a strong urge, a call of the land.
As I learned more and more about Aboriginal culture I wanted to share my knowledge. A few paragraphs in each section slowly grew into the largest and most visited part of my website, so much so that I now dedicate Creative Spirits to the education about one of the most neglected topics in this country: Aboriginal culture.
Have hunger, need food
Many people like you are hungry for knowledge about Aboriginal culture. They are thirsty for in-depth quality information. But there’s a problem.
Where can you get it? Who can you trust?
The NSW Department of Education and Training has put this dilemma well: 
“Teaching Aboriginal studies has special difficulties for non-Aboriginal people. Very little in their education or experience has prepared them for an in-depth knowledge of Aboriginal peoples and cultures. Knowledge about Aboriginal people is too often derived from popular myths or from a media which sensationalises, distorts or omits Aboriginal issues.”
My decision for Creative Spirits was to write quality articles, fully referenced, and give voice to Aboriginal people as much as I can. I am driven by curiosity, I want to know why. And then give you access to what I found out. I don’t shame the people, I shame the myths.
My e-learning products are all high-resolution PDFs, some with companion explanations, printable in A3 or A4 and easy to scan and use. I know you don’t have the time to glue back together that cheap skyscraper graphic you found.
Quality content, hu? Really?
I hear you. Pixels are patient. You want proof.
I could argue that Creative Spirits is an established domain (established in 2001) and visits increase year-on-year. But I won’t. Instead, I’d like you to hear from some of those who’ve already assessed my content:
“An important site, illuminating, objective, educational and user friendly. Should be streamed into all educational institutions and libraries throughout Australia,” says for example John Lind, a film maker, writer, script editor and teacher.
“But that’s a whitefella,” I hear you say. Fair enough.
A word about intention
Aboriginal people are a diverse people just like any other group. And while the overwhelming majority of my Aboriginal visitors recognise my intention to help people learn about Aboriginal culture, some don’t.
So I want to make it really clear: This site’s purpose is to help anyone learn about Aboriginal culture so they can shed old stereotypes, know about contemporary challenges and victories, foster their appreciation of a culture that’s so deep and inspirational. I am not speaking on behalf of Aboriginal people, that’s not my place. Nor am I making money “from” Aboriginal culture. The money I do charge is for information products that I’ve created to facilitate learning. You don’t pay for culture, you pay for the time, effort and skill that it took to create the resource.
Here’s what Aboriginal people who recognise my intention have said:
“It is refreshing to see a website like yours, as it is indicative of how far other peoples interest (and yes curiosity) have come in terms of our own history, culture, language, spirituality and our place in the world,” says Laura from the Wamba Wamba people. “Thanks for spreading the word—and thank you for your cultural sensitivity which I feel lately has been very lacking from the general public.”
And Coralie, an Aboriginal poet, writes: “It has taken an overseas visitor to accomplish what many others have failed to do: acknowledge the fact that Australia was indeed occupied by thousands of Aboriginal tribes long before any kind of ‘discovery’ was made. As an Aborigine I thank you for your well researched contribution to Aboriginal culture. May your Creative Spirits linger forever more. Thank you.”
“Thank you for the deadly site – it is the one of the best most honest sites for info I reckon,” thinks Trevor Walker from the Walbunja and Brinja people, Yuin nation (south coast NSW).
“I think your website… is truthful and current and reflects the beauty and sacredness of my people’s culture and history,” says Dave Sulter, a Gamilaraay man from Coonabarabran, northern NSW.
“Good looking site. Must confess I was initially nervous to see a non-indigenous created site but your information looks great and you show great respect,” admits Denise Freeman from koorikullas.com.
Craig Robertson from Melbourne shares: “I commend you on your work and understanding of our culture as l wish that many more people would take your lead and have understanding.”
My content has been published elsewhere
Back in 2011 I received a surprising email from the National Library of Australia. They told me that they were going to periodically archive my content about Aboriginal culture because they consider it “to be an important component of the national documentary heritage”. Wow, that was a great acknowledgement!
Some of my content, both articles and images, have also been published in other works around the world.
To help academic staff who use my site or refer people I have referenced each article with the sources that I’ve used. You’ll find each source acknowledged in square brackets, like so: . There’s a summary of all sources at the end of each article.
I’m also answering questions on Quora where I’m a “most viewed writer” for the topics of Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal Peoples, Indigenous People and Indigenous Australians. Follow me there if you like.
“I really appreciate the thought-provoking reply you have given and am determined to re-examine my thought process,” says Jacinta on Quora in a comment.
Go and have fun exploring!
I hope you feel confident now exploring Creative Spirits.
Enjoy this website.
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If you feel you should tell me something, just drop me an email to the address provided below. Be curious. Always. It’s a spice of life.
Thank you for listening.
- I run Creative Spirits in my limited spare time. Please be patient when submitting a request as I often cannot answer quickly.
- For that reason, if your request is urgent, you might not get an answer in time.
- Your question might already have an answer in the frequently asked questions.
Creative Spirits® is a registered trademark.
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