I wouldn’t miss NAIDOC Family Day or celebrating NAIDOC for the world.
I am an Aboriginal woman who was born in Canberra. I am currently retired and enjoying volunteering at the University of Canberra.
My favourite things in life are definitely my family, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty and sport.
Being a woman means many things for me; it means you get certain roles in life as part of the family, but also in partnership with other people. I think you end up in a lot of caregiver roles, maybe society puts you in those roles. We might not choose this, but we need to make our own path in life.
I think, as somebody who was born in the 1950’s there’s been a lot of battles, being a woman, being an Aboriginal woman, being an Aboriginal woman with a disability, but that’s life and you hope to make it better for the people who come behind you.
Being a woman in Canberra has been easier than some of my other experiences because Canberra is a reasonably progressive town. When I lived in South Australia during the 1970s Don Dunstan was leader and created a progressive town. But when I lived in Queensland through the Joh Bjelke-Petersen period and just afterward, being a woman there was hard yakka.
I participate in NAIDOC week each year, to celebrate Aboriginal survival and our sovereignty. I’ve been involved in Canberra since the early 70s, when the first tent embassy was established and I used to be on the NAIDOC committee. I’m now lucky enough to be retired, enjoy the fruits of other people’s labours.
In Canberra one of the difficulties maintaining your health and wellbeing for women and for others, is that we don’t have enough bulk billing services. Cost becomes a factor when you need to seek out medical assistance and advice. If you have time, money and can get to them there are services available.
If I could describe a perfect day in Canberra, it would be one of those autumn days where the sun would be out and I would be with my family in a green space.
Image created by Josey Carnovale