Where are you From? is going on hiatus – because producer Ellie Freeman is going to where she’s from.
WAYF producer Ellie hanging out in the Trick Eye Museum in Seoul
After asking people all over Australia where they’re from, it was time for Natal and May to turn the tables on Where are You From? producer Ellie Freeman. Ellie is an international adoptee – born in South Korea and adopted to Australia.
Natal and May wanted to know where Ellie was from, how she came up with the idea for Where are you From?, and her upcoming adventure back to where she was born.
Yenenesh Nigusse is about to leave Brisbane for Europe, and is throwing a farewell party this weekend featuring the artists and performers she’s met over the years.
Yenenesh is a familiar face in Brisbane’s multicultural community arts and dance scenes. She produces events for the Brisbane Ethnic and Multicultural Arts Centre and teaches African dance as well as other styles. Yenenesh talks about embracing African dance as a way to connect with her heritage after being adopted from Ethiopia to Australia as a child.
Farewell Yenenesh in style this Saturday at BEMAC: details and tickets here.
As you may or may not know, WAYF producer Ellie is a Korean adoptee – born in Korea, adopted by Australian parents and raised here.
There are many socio-economic reasons why Korean adoptees were given up for adoption. Ellie’s birth parents, for example, faced extreme economic hardship when I was born in the 80s.
But one of the most common reasons Korean babies are put up for the adoption is because their birth mother is unmarried. Single mothers do not receive financial support in Korea and also face social discrimination within their families, workplace and education systems.
However, Koreans and adoptees today are trying to change this attitude. One nonforprofit organisation, the Korean Unwed Mothers and Families Association (KUMFA) operates from Seoul to support the rights of Korean single mothers. They offer a range of services like advocating for single mother rights, fundraising, education, and care and mentoring for the children.
Korean-Australian adoptee Pia Meehan from Perth manages an online Korean Australian adoptee community and runs her own business Utopia Handmade, where she sews clothes and accessories for children.
We chatted to Pia just before she flew to Seoul last Sunday about fundraising, her insight into Korean adoption advocacy, and her personal connection to Korea.
You can donate to KUMFA by emailing Pia at utopiaHandmade@gmail.comor sending a PayPal donation to KUMFA at firstname.lastname@example.org.