“Those are the only three words in my dictionary,” Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo, an Aboriginal Elder originally from Walgett told me today when I interviewed her for next month’s South Sydney Herald.
Arriving in Sydney in 1958-9 to be a nanny to an Eastern Suburbs family she pursued her dream to achieve all three and to return her education to her community. She still has good relations with that family. “I had to learn to read, being a nanny and the kids going to Sydney Grammar…”
You’ll have to wait for the South Sydney Herald article for the rest.
Now her dream is a reality as she cofounded, through a training and employment initiative of the Redfern Waterloo Authority, Yaama Dhiyaan Hospitality Training College.
Yaama means ‘welcome’ and Dhiyaan means ‘family and friends’ in Aunty Beryl’s Yuwaalaraay language of the Gamillaroi people of north west New South Wales.
The emu design was chosen as it is the totem of the Gamillaroi people. The emu design was based on an Aunty Elaine Russell design and developed by the artist Marian Aboud.
“We can’t forget our past,” she said, reflecting on some of the hard things, “but you’ve got to move on for the sake of future generations.”
What an inspiration she is!