“But I can now say that interpreting and helping indigenous people who are deaf brings me a great sense of pride throughout my life.”.
The theme of NAIDOC Week this year is ‘Because of Her We Can!’ – did any women inspire you growing up?
My Grandmother Temkisa Waia nee Anu (dec.) – she was very influential in my life. She was a very strong and very proud woman. And she was very strict. She wanted us to all learn about our culture and heritage and when she spoke, we all had to listen. She shared stories, culture, and values with us. She taught us to wake up early and help contribute to households for the time when we would have our own families.
My sister, Olive, and I would sometimes get in trouble from Grandmother though. If one of us got in trouble, both of us would get caned. We either got in trouble together or not at all! But we respected Grandmother and her rules.
Olive and I are only one year apart, and despite the fact that we’ve both become married, we are still inseparable.
What message do you have for this NAIDOC Week?
“I want to celebrate our culture by connecting people to their culture – especially those who might have lost this connection. I want to teach the deaf how to communicate, I want to teach them the right way. I want them to think back to their grandparents as I teach them the ways of old. I want to be the cultural support to people as well as helping them with relay translation.”