Codes 4 Life

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Reconnecting Aboriginal men with cultural identity, responsibilities and community

Codes 4 Life is a pro­gram that encour­ages Abo­rig­i­nal men to find strength in their cul­ture and uses foot­ball as a lens through which respect for rules can be dis­cussed. Just as men have a role to play in their foot­ball team, they have oth­er impor­tant roles. Embrac­ing cul­ture helps men under­stand their place in the world and their oblig­a­tions to fam­i­ly, com­mu­ni­ty, law and country.

Elders are cen­tral to the pro­gram; their pres­ence pro­vides authen­tic­i­ty, dig­ni­ty and wis­dom. Although Elders teach those will­ing to lis­ten, with the next gen­er­a­tion too dis­tract­ed to learn, Elders fear that their cul­tur­al knowl­edge will die with them. By recon­nect­ing with their Elders, par­tic­i­pants remem­ber the impor­tance of pro­tect­ing and pass­ing on knowledge.

Codes 4 Life helps men turn down the vol­ume of the dis­trac­tions in their lives so they can lis­ten to the voice of culture.

Men need sup­port to nav­i­gate the chal­leng­ing path through two worlds. Codes 4 Life offers men a chance to dis­cuss issues, to seek advice and guid­ance, and to express dif­fi­cult emo­tions with oth­er Abo­rig­i­nal men in a safe, empow­er­ing setting. 

With a renewed under­stand­ing of their lega­cy, respon­si­bil­i­ty and iden­ti­ty, Abo­rig­i­nal men are empow­ered by the strength and pride of their culture.

As Michael states, For a man on the straight path of Abo­rig­i­nal law, the jour­ney that takes us from being boys to being men, the answers are clear. That jour­ney teach­es us our rules, our respon­si­bil­i­ties and oblig­a­tions. We look at all the issues around our busi­ness and the destruc­tive aspects that alco­hol is play­ing and the trou­ble and despair that it is play­ing with our abil­i­ty to con­tin­ue the knowl­edge around coun­try. The ques­tion is put to the group that some­where, some­way, you are an own­er of coun­try; you are a care­tak­er of coun­try and you can’t be look­ing after coun­try if you are in jail. When you are in jail you miss a lot of cer­e­mo­ny, you miss a lot of law and you also miss a lot of meet­ings where you are need­ed to sit with your Elders and assist them to understand.”

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Michael Lid­dle deliv­er­ing a Codes 4 Life workshop.

Stories

Joe Williams cracks Codes 4 Life

Apr. 12, 2019

Joe Williams speaks about the connection between culture and mental health

Codes 4 Life to grow after receiving $1.36M funding

Mar. 04, 2019

The Hon Nigel Scullion has announced $1.36 million in funding for DKA's flagship project

Listen to the voice of culture

Dec. 14, 2018

Reflecting on the role of DKA's Codes 4 Life program