Richard “Balang” Fejo

Senior Aboriginal cultural educator

I am a Larrakia “Salt Water” man, a recognised elder of my clan group (Larrakia ‘Fejo’ Clan Group) and a direct descendant of the Larrakia from my father and grandfather in what culture calls “Grandfather law”. My skin name is ‘Balang’ from the top end of the NT and ‘Tjapaltjarri’ from the Warramungu (Tennant Creek) region on my mother’s side.

I worked for five years with the North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (now NAAJA) in Darwin as a Criminal Field Officer and three years in Perth with the Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia (LAWA) as a paralegal, before working in further community legal education programs, both at Territory and Commonwealth levels. I have been trained by the Human Rights Commission and the Attorney General’s Department and spent the last 20 years working in approximately 25 remote communities across the Northern Territory.

I commenced in the role of Aboriginal Cultural Educator with Northern Territory General Practice Education in June 2009 and became the Senior Cultural Educator and Co-Chair Person of the National Cultural Educator and Cultural Mentor Network in 2011. Having knowledge of kinship and how this works both in local and external settings across the Northern Territory has assisted my work in the Northern Territory and at National Levels when it comes to diverse cultural understanding, practices and communication. I use the knowledge given to me with the permission and support of my clan and peers to manage the very successful Cultural Education teams located in both Darwin and Alice Springs.

In 2015 I presented at the World Indigenous Health Conference in Cairns. In 2014 I presented on a national level at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Conference in Melbourne, the General Practice Education and Training (GPET) National Convention in Brisbane and locally at the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliances Northern Territory (AMSANT) Leadership Program held in Alice Springs.

In addition, I am currently the Co-Chairperson of the National Cultural Educators and Cultural Mentor’s (CE/CM) Network with approximately fifty CE/CM’s across Australia and have held this position for five years since 2011.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away” – Pablo Picasso.