Linda Traub on Indigenous empowerment

Written by By Lana Diehl, CNN

Bestselling author Linda Traub spent her youth in South Australia, but her heart was in her Indigenous origins. As part of her new book “For the Greater Good: An Indigenous Millennial Financial Advisor’s Stories,” she shares some of her personal history.

The Herald Sun (7 October 2018): “As early as the fifth grade my learning was underpinned by having my peers marvel at my own Irish heritage. Even when I got to South Australia in year 7, most of my schooling was catered for the other kids.

“My parents embraced that, helping to establish a ‘Big Sisters’ program so I had someone there for me. Where it got harder was in PE and I couldn’t really talk about it. I came home one day to find a ‘Big Sisters’ leaflet in my backpack, complete with motivational messages.”

One of six children, Linda grew up with her father, who was born into a Southern Aboriginal family. Years later, he experienced the tragedy of the APY Lands, a remote community, where his entire family was murdered.

Anita Banks, Linda Traub, Audrey Walls, Tracey Young, Emma Metcalf, Francesca Banham, Catherine McCauley and Ruth Pellow. Credit: Eva Branco, Lizzie Kincaid Photography

After graduating from Adelaide University, Traub became a highly regarded financial analyst, a decision that left her as an outsider in a predominantly Anglo environment. A political activist and activist for the South Australian Aboriginal community, she is currently the manager of the financial program at AWAN and the co-founder of Red and Black Eye, a community center for all Aboriginal people.

Her latest book aims to demonstrate a commitment to social change. On October 16, she spoke to CNN Style about the important journey she has taken with her new book, as well as how she can improve the world for others.

CNN Style: Could you tell us the story of how your book came to be?

Linda Traub: I wrote the book with two editors who are massive supporters of the First Nations perspective. They knew that I had become quite disillusioned with my own community where I am from, so I told them I was going to create a book for people who want to see and hear other perspectives. I wanted to tell the stories of Aboriginal people who are telling their stories, but have often been silenced and taken away, not being heard.

Linda Traub with her sister, friend, and parents at their home in South Australia. Credit: Andrew Burns

When I moved to London and got set up in finance, I felt isolated in that kind of community, so I tried to see more of the world by flying around Europe. I flew with my feet on the ground and that’s where I came up with the idea for “For the Greater Good.”

Your background is very diverse and obviously has shaped your interests. Was it difficult to explain this to your friends at the time?

Linda Traub: I tell my kids to follow their bliss, and that’s what I did. I left my home in remote South Australia and moved to London to do my finance and it was there that I met Amelie, my daughter. But I didn’t actually tell people back home for so long.

Their friends said to me ‘How do you feel? You have a big book coming out and you’ve left your home.’ People in South Australia were pretty strict, but I said, “Okay, what do you want me to write about? Tell me what’s important to you.” And that’s when I realized that I had to write about Indigenous Australian women.

Linda Traub and daughter Amelie (left) outside of their home in South Australia. Credit: Jon Morgan

As an Indigenous female financial advisor, how would you best describe your approach to this work?

Linda Traub: I would say my approach is creating an environment where the older generation can mentor our young people. We’ve got this malaise that we all have got this guilt and shame around the intergenerational, generational bullying and the lack of education and the lack of support that they’re getting. So, we’ve got to support our younger people in a more holistic way.

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