Nyungar people believe that without strong women there are no strong men, and vice versa.
That both genders, carry the same weight of responsibility and importance as each other.
That age is not the single determinate of being a person of influence and leadership, but personal authenticity, inspiring and supporting others, in their pursuits to carry on kadadjiny or knowledge, defines a leader. In essence, we all have the ability to inspire, lead and challenge.
The 2021 Australian of the Year, Grace Tame, recognised for her strength, courage and advocacy in better supporting survivors of sexual assault, is an example of the above.
As Grace said: "share your truth, it is your power."
Her journey made me reflect on my own history of sexual abuse and sharing my truth.
My offender was an elder and my own grandfather.
I found the system I had to navigate to get justice as traumatic.
Despite the challenges, I chose to share my truth, get justice, and have since been empowered to help others since he was convicted in 2006.
I wouldn't be here if not for the equally brave and strong people that choose to support me and advocate for change within government and community institutions over many decades - institutions that need to significantly improve their approach, support and treatment towards victims of crime.
These allies chose and continue to challenge the structures, mindsets and ideologies within institutions to ensure more people come forward, and to do so safely.
People like Dr Hannah McGlade, Dorinda Cox, Dennis and Selina Eggington, my husband, members of family and friends and my dad, Professor Len Collard.
Dad did not hold back in calling out his own father, which took immense courage.
Without allies, people like Grace, myself and many others who have suffered such abuse, would be facing the fight alone, and sometimes, some of these women just give up the fight.
Let's break from comfort zones, enter the nih, burruniny wongi (listen, connect and communicate) space, and embrace the potential learnings and developments of self and in society.
As allies, let's stand up, speak our truths and empower those who should have a voice.
Yowrl koorl yirra yaak nguny djookian ngoornie - come on my sisters and brothers, let's stand tall, and #ChoosetoChallenge.
Ingrid Cumming is a Nyungar cultural advisor from Curtin University.