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There is much work to be done, a way to go, a way to be aware. In the new issue of 10 Magazine Australia, we meet Ella Noah Bancroft: Bundjalung woman, grassroots activist, poet and connection mentor. Read her poem below.

Where are you from?

“I am a mixed-heritage Indigenous woman. I am a descendent of the Bundjalung peoples, my Indigenous bloodline originates from northern NSW. I also have bloodlines to Poland, Scotland and England.” 

If you had to describe yourself?

“I am passionate about the living world around me. I would say my greatest love is the land – I am constantly retracing my steps to connect with Country. I feel strongly about reminding women of their power and returning to more sustainable ways of living. I am on a journey to return, to remember and to reconnect.” 

Why poetry?

“Poetry allows me to write about the world I want to see, to share messages about the importance of the living world and inspire other humans to return to the right relationship. Poetry allows my ancestors to come through me, to share messages. Poetry gives me an ability to expel unwanted energy through creativity.” 

What do you hope your words might inspire?

“Reconnection, remembrance, reverence and respect for the living world and connected cultures that still exist here today.”

Why this poem?

“I have recently been on a water pilgrimage with my partner. We dedicated our journey to the waters and in the past three weeks, we have invited water ritual into our lives. We have educated ourselves on water, we have learned of its life and we have transformed the way we interact in it, when we drink it, swim in it and play in it. This poem is my prayer to the water, it’s my prayer to the world to remember our waters.” 

Favourite word right now?

“Relationship. Everything in the living world is in relationship with everything else. This is where the conception of oneness comes from, the idea of connection. My mission in life is to respect my relationships with kin, more than human kin, Country and therefore the elements of our world.” 

Boldest person you know?

“My beautiful mother, who is also my role model in life.” 

One beautiful person you would like to celebrate?

“One is hard. In this moment, I want to celebrate my youngest brother. He is beautiful, his heart is huge. He is a young man that is making waves through his thoughts that impact on the world. I want to acknowledge my beautiful 18-year-old brother, who lights me up with joy, who speaks openly with me, who connects and loves with all his heart. I love you, Joe.” 

Salt Water By Ella Noah Bancroft

Salt water drops from my eyes,

Veins of our earth crying.

Polluted and dying. 

Salt water sweat drips from my skin

As the storm within

Pours with power. 

Feet in the sand by the salt water sea,

As the she-oak trees 

Sway, waving branches 

throughout the day

And saying, “Return 

Water being to the unseen,

dreams and deep feelings.


The waves rush over me, float me,

transforms internal frequencies.

The ways of the ocean,

Calming emotions. 

This body of water.

Our body is water. 

I see blue creatures of 

the sea, pleading, 

“Return to right relation.”

My hand cups the ocean

Full moon motions, release

powerful intentions.

Future sons and daughters,

deserve healthy waters. 

I Submerge.

I Pray.

Steps towards

ancestral ways. 

Reconnect to olden days. 

Laying by the water, the mind wonders

Into the unseen H2O systems of our world

as they reteach tools.

It twirls, swirls and whirls within my heart. 

Structurally sound in spirit,

Energy surges within it.

Infinite source of health.

Structureless slave liquid. 

The voices whisper,

“Our water carries memory,

memories carry remedy.

To overthrow supremacy...”

May healthy waters be our true prophecy. 

Photograph by Kirilly Dawn.