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Why Love & Courage helps us to SHINE


Not quite that coconut water glow after a brisk walk to your next café meeting, but that shine that happens when you are doing that work that emanates your values.


Mark and I are IN IT building SNU (Can you believe it’s March on Sunday?!?). The, Up to our eyeballs, overflowing with love and gratitude for the projects we’re engaged in, kind of In It! The, Get it done, Not perfect, kind of flow as well. You get the picture.


This morning I was in the ABC Brisbane studio, having a chat with Matt Webber (ABC Gold Coast) and Rana Al Mekarry from the Multicultural Families Organisation (MFO). Rana and I are preparing for our One Million Stars to End Violence star weaving workshop at the Gold Coast Mosque this Saturday 29 February. EXCITING!!

Star weaving workshop & installation. Gold Coast Mosque.

On the drive home, listening to Queen Beyoncé, I was reflecting on how great it feels to be part of this collaboration with Rana, MFO and the Gold Coast Islamic Society. More specifically, I was zoning in on the values that actively and unconsciously drives us to work and partner with people like Rana. We met at the MATE Bystander conference in 2018 and we connected on a few things, including art and how it is used as a form of therapy and positive engagement for our communities and cultures. Rana was one of the few brown women in that space, so reaching out and acknowledging each other helped me to feel comfortable! Turned out there were many cross overs in our work, including a shared belief in being inclusive and part of the solution. Rana does incredible work through Leaders of Positive Change and MFO and I encourage you to learn more here. Our workshop this Saturday is designed to create safe space and unity for our communities through star weaving and conversation. It's all the good things the One Million Stars movement is about - what ever faith you follow, what ever the colour of your skin and what ever your journey to this island home that we now call Australia has been, it’s all good. We can do this together. Especially if we have love and courage.


Mark and I have done some pretty cool stuff in the last 3 weeks under the umbrella of SNU and on the home front. For those doing marriages, children, work and play, I know you hear me! Next week is another big week, leading up to International Women's Day. I thought of this pic too, me holding the word SHINE (because I love a good visual) taken yesterday with our daughter Tavina Moonlight at The Story Boxes. I think it depicts how we have been feeling at SNU HQ and what we are carrying, as energy/mana and tools in our backpacks, our woven bags and in our hearts.


At SNU our values are:


Stand United

Lift Others

Generate Cultures

Cultivate Belonging &

Share Power


At the heart of all this is love and courage. For Mark and I This is Us. It’s how we met and I expect, it’s how we’re going go out too! This is also SNU and for all the business, leadership, relationship and intercultural experience and knowledge that we have in these areas, every conversation, learning and engagement comes back to love and courage. For others and for ourselves. It is our super power. It’s what makes us shine. It’s why our work is not work but LIFE. With our children, our extended families of friends and colleagues and blood relations, these values keep us going and they keep us full. What is amazing and normal still, is that every day, we witness these values LIVING in others. The people we work with across education, health, politics, art and design are embedded in challenging and complex environments where bullying, racism, violence, confusion and loneliness is real but they are committed to shine and find solutions.


Here’s a snapshot of where we’ve seen love and courage SHINING in the last few weeks and where we expect to see it again. I'm sure you have a list of people who you think shine because they act and work with love and courage too. Stay hydrated and get your shine out folks, it's all love and courage!


Love & Light,

Maryann Talia Pau


Shout/SHINE out to:


Kellie Mcdonald, Indigenous student Coordinator at Alex Hills State High School. Cooee Elders in Cleveland. It really is a team effort and every teacher that makes themselves available to support Indigenous students excelling is helping ALL their students.


Custodianship Program 2020 and the team. Our baby girl came back inspired by her mobs and excited to create. Australia Council for the Arts.


Rana & the Multicultural Families Organisation, Leaders for Positive Change. Gold Coast Mosque Christchurch Memorial.


Amber Women’s Refuge in Kilkenny, Ireland weaving stars for their installation later this year.


BrisStyle, bringing people together to Create & Connect. Another huge undertaking to mobilise people and include as many voices as possible through craft, sustainability and community.


My Pacific Sister and the Pacific Women in Network, talking body image, strengthening networks in Pasifika communities through academia, politics and social enterprise.

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SNU acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians across this continent and abroad. We work in solidarity for a future unlimited.

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