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tatiana Darling

I advocate a community based way of being and educating. I advocate equality, particularly gender equality. I advocate humanitarianism. I advocate the earth.

It feels like I have been working on the Amazon Heart, internally, for at least 10 years. I remember first having the seeds of an idea towards this when I was at graphic design school in 2005.

I was deeply embedded in symbolism and the intuitive, and kept seeing visions of a ‘heart empire’ that I’d create which involved writing, art, campaigns, passion and change for a better world.

From where I stand now, I can see that my background has been a huge determiner for why I’m so interested in global wholehearted ways of being.

My father grew up in post-war Poland, and actually experienced the war first hand as a boy, almost being killed by a dropped bomb on his family’s farm property, having his father taken captive as a capitalist ‘traitor’ and imprisoned, his mother, himself and his siblings, being taken to a Siberian work camp. I was told early on that he suffered from ‘mental illness’ but as I researched more and more into what he experienced, I realised that the systems that we have created are not serving humans, nor the planet or its other creatures, but serving the systems themselves.

My mother grew up in Peru which had undergone its own terrorist threats before I was born, she grew up in a separatist political climate which saw whites privileged over ‘cholos’. She was something in between. The entire country was steeped in imitation retrograde Western religion and culture which didn’t value indigenous culture or more intuitive ways of knowing, so, my grandparent’s indigenous heritage was never taught to them. They both had strong connections to the earth but that knowledge and ways of being was lost.

From a young age, I learned that I was a first generation Australian of non-english speaking background, and though quite proud of that, and culture being superficially proud of those differences, I found that not to be the case in the dominant Australian psyche. It was an isolating experience.

My adulthood saw me enter a relationship which was controlling and quite damaging to my mental health, and the transition into motherhood quite fraught with challenge.

Entering a teaching career in 2009, I could see how I had been fed belief systems surrounding achievement and success that stunted my creativity, self-worth and naturalness, and dismissed the inequalities and beauty of different people’s cultures and circumstances, and now I could see it happening to thousands of other kids. Education is the torch-bearer for overall community and culture.

Through my father’s story, I grew up knowing that if anything, I had to help humanity and heart-centred ways become the priority.

Through my mother’s story, I knew I had to help the earth, indigenous and intuitive ways of being become the priority.

And, through my own story, I knew the world’s natural health and wellbeing in the present and future had to be the priority, especially for the sake of my daughter.

Humanity, the earth, health and equality are my mantra.