Yaama Tammy,

Please tell us a little about yourself. . .

Who is your mob?

“Gamilaroi / Gamilaraay Language”

Who are the Traditional owners of your current place of residence?

“Darkinyung and Awabakal Nations (Southern Lake Macquarie, NSW)”

“I was born in Warren NSW. I have been married to Victor Wright, Dunghutti man from Bellbrook Reserve NSW for 35 years. I have two children Jonathan and Alanah who I have ensured that they know who they are to draw strength from their cultural identity as do my five grandchildren Layken, Hazel, Archie, Kahleah and Pypah.

I am a teacher & hairdresser by trade, but have been involved and lived in communities all my life. Researching the concept of traditional and spiritual healing of our people, social justice and the maintenance and cultural practices of our people for over 30 years has always been a priority.”

Can you tell us who the Coota Girl Survivor in your family?

“My maternal grandmother, Catherine May Darcy and her siblings”

Can you tell us a little bit about them?

“My Nan was born on Kentwell’s Paddock near Warren NSW. Around 1936, the family then moved onto the Bemmunnel Reserve on the outskirts of Warren.

My Nan married Norm Townsend and had 4 children, Patricia, Catherine, Peter and Larraine. In her early years they lived at Warren, on Country.

Nan was the best cook, especially sweets, golden syrup dumplings were my favourite and she could knit. She was so good with a needle, wool and her knitting techniques and I still have some of her works to this day. Nan loved her family, grandkids gave her joy and we looked forward to her visits and she even had the joy of knowing three of her great grandchildren Joanthan, William and Alanah before her passing. Becoming a great grandparent gave her so much more and she told me it just completed her life. If she was with us today she’d be overjoyed to know that her legacy continues with 12 great great grandchildren. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about her, remembering just little things, like her voice, her laughter, her stories.”

Always Was, Always Will Be. recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

What does this mean to you as a Stolen Generations descendant? What are your hopes for First Nations people’s futures?

“This dark chapter of Australia’s history denied us connections to Country, kinship, culture, language, dignity and more importantly the love from a mother and father and community. Hearing the stories of abuse, neglect, trauma and the many social justice issues that our people continue to face today is evident and it hurts. I don’t believe any significant changes will happen in my lifetime, but I do hope for my grandchildren. Being a high school teacher for over 20 years, the Stolen Generations is a topic that I teach regularly. It’s heartbreaking and touches you right to the heart of your soul, more so, if you have a personal connection.

This is dedicated to Catherine May Darcy, My Grandmother.”