Ella Noah Bancroft reflects on her poetic series 'Listening, Learning, Loving', commissioned in 2021 for Poetry in First Languages.

I wrote these poems as a homage to the old ways, to bring readers back into compassion. To encourage readers to reflect on how to integrate old ways into the modern day. To be in deep reverence for our community. A reflection on the mainstream culture which polarises my mothers and my own culture, highlighting some of the unhealthy ways Australia culture dominates and destroys Indigenous ways of living, the land and our more than human kin.

Growing up Indigenous in Australia can be difficult, especially as a fair skinned woman. While I recognise my privilege at times it can be difficult to present my work to mainstream communities due to my skin colour. I want to encourage people to remember their own bloodlines and remember their ancestors and stories. These stories and words have been gifted to me by my ancestors and I am a portal for their expression.

My work and my writing are based in reclaiming connection to culture, community, our purpose here on earth and on another.