Aunty Lorraine Brown – Interview Transcript

Interview Transcript from Illawarra Stories Wollongong City Libraries Oral History Project- Aunty Lorraine Brown

Interviewer: Jo Oliver

Interview date: 8/07/2020

 Jo Oliver: This is an oral history recording for Wollongong City Libraries oral history project, Illawarra Stories. and today I’m talking with Aunty Lorraine Brown and we’re at the Coomaditchie Centre at Kemblawarra and it’s the 8th of July 2019 and while we’re talking Aunty Lorraine’s actually doing some painting, which is really lovely. Aunty Lorraine, how long have you been in the Illawarra?

Aunty Lorraine Brown:  I’ve been in the Illawarra area for 47 years. I first met my husband in1972 and I’ve been coming backwards and forwards here for all those years. And then we permanently moved, because we were on Coomaditchie and then we’d move off and come back on then move off and we’ve finally been here since our daughter was in kinder and she’s now 39 years of age, so 47 years, but my husband used to live in the sand hills over at the lagoon since a very young boy, lived in tin shacks, sugar bag shacks in the sand hills over there a lot of our Aboriginal people and a lot of the people who were moved off Hill 60, yeah.

Jo Oliver: And so how did you two meet?

Aunty Lorraine Brown:  He come down Bomaderry one day and I met him down there at my cousin’s house.

Jo Oliver:  And people of, Aboriginal people have been here thousands and thousands of years. Yes, the Wodi people are the people of Hill 60. We are related to few of those people. And there’s some really close friends of ours that are Wodi Wodi. But um, yeah this is a Wodi Wodi area and we always acknowledge that it’s Wodi Wodi and we respect the Traditional Owners as well, ’cause they’re a part of our families as well. You know. we also want to learn more and more about it because a lot of the history’s still hidden or you know suppressed or you gotta chase it up to find it so, we can get a lot of people, a lot of people have been running it up and coming back to us and letting us know things and you know more and more. So, you know, and what we know ourselves from being here all these years, yes.

Jo Oliver: Wonderful area isn’t it?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: It is. This is one of the bestest. That’s why we kept coming back, because it’s so close to everything for us. The beach, town. We haven’t got a car. You know, the buses are right there. The town’s right there. All your, there’s a cluster of us on there, so that’s what made it good also, you know ’cause there was a lot of families on there.

Jo Oliver: Yeah, there was a community.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah it was, yeah. There’s some old aunties, I think most of them have passed on now, but their parents lived on there. And they were some of the fisherman. We still got an old uncle down the coast there that was one of, a part of their family as well, that lived on there. Uncle Laddie, some of his people lived there. Like, they’re from La Pa as well, La Perouse.

Jo Oliver: So people mainly did fishing and?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah, fishing and you had, you had a delicacy of all delicacies – the seafood. And there used to be a lot of shellfish and that around there. Even in, like when I was coming up in the 70s, there was still a real lot of shellfish, but it’s disappeared. You know, it’s not as, what’s the word? When there’s a lot of food there? You know it’s not abundant.

Jo Oliver: Abundant, that’s the word, yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: As it used to be, you know. It’s all gone.

Jo Oliver:  So, what sort of shell? We still got some Pipis on our beach. or in the ocean around the rocks and that if you know. My husband was quite a fisherman. Used to fish there around Hill 60 on Honeycomb Rock there. Used to go with some of his, like his dad and his old uncles there, go fishing. And he used to go himself, so he knew the ocean pretty well around here. And he always loved his blue boned groper, so that’s what he always fished for.

Jo Oliver: OK, they’re special. Yeah because my father was the same. Yeah?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah, he was a blue boned groper fisherman

Jo Oliver: And would they fish with…?

Aunty Lorraine Brown:  Yeah, they fished with the bait. They got the bait around the rocks. Either had kunji, which is, you might see them squirting out water.

Jo Oliver: Yeah, I know the Kunjis. Funny looking things.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: And like the red crab was one of the best baits for the groper. And we used to get the crabs with the little spear things we used to make, out of iron. You go crab huntin’ or get the kunjis, yeah.

Jo Oliver: You cook them on an open fire or?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: On the coals yeah. If you wanted to eat them at the beach and that, yeah.

Jo Oliver: Yeah, you’d just eat it straight away?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah, you can eat it straight away.

Jo Oliver: Nice.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Clean it, clean it down and eat it, yeah.

Jo Oliver: You can’t get fresher than that can you?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: No, no it’s really beautiful, you know. Some of the best tucker going. And very healthy at that. You know, ’cause we we’re trying to get the kids back into eating healthy food these days and not, ’cause you know, we never had takeaway food like this, you know. When I was a kid I think the tucker, the fish and chip shop was the main takeaway food. There was nothing else, you know, where you’d get a hamburger or whatever, yeah.

 Jo Oliver: When you first came here to live, in the 70’s. You, where were you living there? The settlement hadn’t moved. Is that right?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah, no they had the, well they moved down Hill 60, from Hill 60 down and then people, like all the old people started fighting for the houses with uncle Fred Moore that as well, fought for houses to go along the front of the “mish” here.

Jo Oliver: Yeah. Six little cottages there…  OK.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Well government put the houses there I think but that’s about it, a lot of the Koori’s had a little bit more freedom although they had the people coming around checking on them all the time, but they had a bit more freedom then a lot of the missions down the coast you know or up the coast use to have gates and

Jo Oliver Yeah, yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Spose displacing them was bad enough, you know took em outa their comfort zones where they lived for a long time but, when they finally got homes in the, late sixties they got them home, in the late 60s

Jo Oliver: OK.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: So they were still living in them sand hills in the sixty’s yep.

Narelle: Even when in the houses ole Simmo was still over there for a long time eh

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah, yeah, the ole bloke (the last one out) he was the last one to come. Yeah.

Jo Oliver: And you’re a beautiful painter, you both are we’ve got, is it Narelle that is here now? We’re just recording this story to hear a bit about your stories down here.

 Aunty Lorraine Brown: Ahh we were, one day we were painting our fences cos a lady named Sue Edmonds, she come out ‘ere cos she was working with people on Noogaleek, that’s the book Noogaleek

Jo Oliver:  Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: She said when she left here, she said she felt a lot of power from our house and she said “Oh I just have to get back to them people I need to talk with them”, and so she wondered how she could break the ice with the community. So what she done was she come armed with paint brushes and paints so we all decide she’s connin’ us painting fences. So we all, cos it was board fences then all boards palings you know?

Jo Oliver Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: And once we said oh yeah ok we’ll paint the fences with ya’s so we started painting fences then we started putting kangaroos along the fences down there, because by then we’d had new homes built, but the old home was still down here, we decided we’re painting the fences now there was a thing that was written in the papers that we were graffitiing our bins and our fences and I said see, see you got us in trouble. (laughter)So people were calling it graffiti because we had handprints on the bin and kangaroos drawn on our fence.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: and so they called it graffiti and ahh these Aboriginal people you know graffitiing their fences and their bins you know blah blah blah so you know we gotta a bit of a

Narelle: Backlash yeah

Aunty Lorraine Brown: bit of a backlash from that, but anyway the principal the new principal Mr Geoff  Peters come over to us cos he seen us painting the fences, and he was the 1st principal that ever bothered to come to our community, to break the ice with the Aboriginal people,

.Jo Oliver: Yeah, yeah.

Narelle:  This was happening at the meetings at the school.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah, but Aboriginal parents weren’t mixin’ in the school you know but he broke the ice he come over one day said when you’s are finished painting that fence, he introduced himself of course.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: But he goes when you’s are finished painting that fence, he said I got a big big blank wall over there he said I want ya to do a mural on and Sue then goes yeah, OK, OK then we were going Sue we never painted murals before you know and Sue said you’s can do it look at the drawings on the fence you can do it, so Sue really sorta pushed us.

Jo Oliver Yeah, yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: You know then ever since we done the mural on the school it was a different one at that time, the first one was very bright you know hey Narelle? And we symbolized the bird of like the bird a peace because it was a place of a lot of cultures and then we did the, we did the sunshine because were coastal so we did a big sun and then we done the stack because all of us identified with that big stack that they knocked down and that symbolized the steel works in our art work and then we done a massive big serpent around and we done lizards

Narelle: Map of Australia and

Aunty Lorraine Brown: our big serpent ended up like the map of Australia we didn’t realize until we painted it but inside that we had like the turtles and we had lizards and stuff like that that eh Narelle that because we were just starting out, we never had you know we never painted before in our our life the only artwork we ever done was like in our geography books and science books at school.

But from then on we got that many phone calls about wanting Aboriginal murals an the just blew out a proportion of our. In 1993 we were given the opportunity from the art gallery so Sue got the contract again for us but we got the impression they didn’t think that we could do it because you know there was all Aboriginal art in there but it wasn’t the art that we were used to doing I had a feeling me an Narelle and my sister Donna we walked out and I said did you get the impression he thinks that we can’t do this because you know It was 14 big panels panels in the front.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: and it was two on the like it was 2 panels for the side of Burrelli and two sides for the back the back of the umm art gallery, so there were two big doubles that went together there on the side and so that was like 18 panels all together that we had to do with the so many months at that time we were building the track, over here around the lagoon.

We will building that track so we were crawling on our knees in the day time doing boxing, the cement came in you know I and we had all the cement was still wet we had to do the sides put the design Aboriginal design designs in the cement. So we were doing that and also, you know, doing weeding and everything in our garden.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: I mean in our track so we were replacing the weeds planting mulching everything and we still had to come home and cook dinner for our family, do the washing whatever, then go downstairs in my garage and paint them panels.

Cos we wasn’t gonna let him think that we couldn’t handle that job and we did it so when we took him in there it sort of blew everybody out because the colour just went (explosion sound) (laughing)off the walls because, like when we was painting the … we had to go also to paint the youth centre in there.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: and the new youth centre used to be the old council building

Jo Oliver: Right.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: In Keira Street there. So it became, they got it for the youth centre, so you know we did this massive big goanna on there with a big hand coming around like its ripping the corner and Sue goes “Lorraine, nobody paints these colours in public art works!” because it was massive just bouncing off the wall.

Jo Oliver:  Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: In reds

Jo Oliver: Yeah?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: and you know all the colours that we use..

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: And I said well they better tell Ken Done to move over because Coomaditchie’s in town [laughing]. Yeah well our colours like he was mainly pastels

Jo Oliver: Yeah, yeah

Aunty Lorraine Brown: but he got them bright.

Jo Oliver: Yeah. Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: So you know but to get the people’s reaction and Mr Colin Markham when he opened it Colin, he really he really really boosted, boosted us as you know up and coming artist at that time but he said you know he said there was traffic jams outside this art gallery, he said and he said I was wondering what was going on he said and  then when I got down further he said I could see why everybody was slow he said this beautiful art was just bouncing off the walls everybody is looking at it out here so you know that was a really good start for us you know.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: And even with like, even with a mural on Kemblawarra school and me first, that was our 1st mural ever it give us a lot a lot of pride, because at the time to you know we were we also started with our trail over the back and that was the pride of our community as well because like I said we were a community that nobody really, thought anything about you know we were the shame of the town, like that’s how they looked at Coomaditchie, you can’t say they didn’t cos they did. You know it was. It was hard you know for people to accept us as we were, but those, like that track and the murals and that when we started working and coming out into community that started breaking a lot of barriers so we use the art as a bridge to the wider community and it helped us break down those ties you know. So when people come in we let him know the history of the area that this is Dharawal country but you’re on the tribal hunting grounds of Wodi Wodi and you know the Wodi Wodi people were a  proud people and they must be acknowledged for that. You know what I mean, they were taken off Hill 60 they were promised to get it back and they never ever got it back but been a part of all the, all the art works and everything that’s going up there too and the trail that’s going through up there I mean that’s that’s still beautiful in our culture and you know acknowledging culture

Jo Oliver Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: and acknowledging the Hill 60 people the Wodi Wodi people.

Jo Oliver: Yeah

Aunty Lorraine Brown: And it’s acknowledging them for their, their ownership of you know that land. So we’re really proud to be a part of that and you know we’re, we’re proud to be a part of this mission, because we enjoy living on here because you know we could party or whatever like especially like when we was young and that but..

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: know we didn’t complain about one another.

Jo Oliver: No.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Because we all had our turns at partying, you know noisy Christmas parties or whatever or just partying but. You know it’s, it’s just all us mob in in one you know one area and it’s good livin it’s good livin

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: we enjoy it and we enjoy Coomaditchie and you know we were offered some really big homes, if we be if we if we helped make the deal to sell, sell the land to put beautiful homes on and they said they’d give us a home and we said no. Cos if you put them developments over there near those things you’re going to ruin all our pippi area.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Said it’ll be all polluted and said after all these years we want that kept cos it’s still there and we said no we’re quite happy, we got houses that’ll do us

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: So you know we never heard anything else of it so you know we didn’t care about the big houses we cared about our bit of special area over there to be left and not polluted. Not polluted.

Jo Oliver: Yeah. Have it the way you want it.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah have it the way we want it yep, yep.

Jo Oliver: Yeah and have your community.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: and because we used to go over there and like take about 21 kids with us over beach and we’d walk, over the back and we’d watch em all day we’d tell em to pack a drink you know if they never had it well we’d carry extra drink extra fruit and sandwiches you know.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: And we’d stay over there all day at the beach til the afternoon and then we’d all walk back and sometimes like me and mi sister and me husband or you know whoever was there that day the other mums we’d be over there all day, you know we’d take a bit a shelter we’d sit there and we’d enjoy the whole day. And the kids just loved it because we could send them up the beach to get some hot chips or whatever you know but those kind of things that you treasure because you don’t see much of it happenin’ no more.

Jo Oliver: No, no.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Nah.

Jo Oliver: Good to have that space isn’t it?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: It is it’s good and you know we spent a lot of time around them rocks with my husband and me and my kids and you know and my family we spent a lot of time my husband used to spend all his time there, I knew he how he could read ocean, he could sit in the a spot where the wave would smash, people would run but he’d stay there cause he could he knew the ocean and he could read the ocean you know.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: So a lot a lot of people and he used to tell a lot of people where to fish and where not to fish, he saved a couple blokes that got washed in, he told em they’d get washed in if they wouldn’t move from that area, he said you’re gonna get taken, just keep keep standing there waves gonna take ya,

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Took em in two of them well and then they panicked to get in and he told them no, he said you gotta swim that way come in you know don’t try it you’ll drown and so you know, he knew the rocks really well, and his kids learned how to do the rocks.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: You know how to walk around the rocks and how to be safe in those areas, cos they were taught to read the ocean because that’s what you gotta do to be safe, especially, you know you learning to be a rock fisherman well you gotta know your ocean, you gotta know where you are because a lot of men have been drowned and a few have been drowned over here and one of his old friends that he was an old man that, you know, he grew up around and he went fishing over there his all his life and he went in there and they never found him. You know he used to, they used to a stick in his head and he used to tell the kid that as well. Ole Wollomecanka as we call it Wollongong you know we call it home and when we used to come down that hill and see that stack mate we used to go yeah everybody were home, were home. you know a lot of people, a lot of them used to identify home with the stacks, a lot of them missed it.

Jo Oliver: It was like a marker for you.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: It was a marker like coming round the Kiama bends oh there’s home, look kids you know the stack you know been lovely for us to be able to do that in illuminous paint cause it was going to be the big didge at one time.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah I said to Narelle yeah what are we gonna do bungee jump at the top with a paint brush and slide down the side. [Laughing]. But that would have been would have been good to see an Illuminous one, we’d have the biggest didge.

Jo Oliver: Yeah. [laughing].

Aunty Lorraine Brown: But other than that and then you know being here and all the partners we had partnership with has been so special.

Jo Oliver: OK.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: You know and

 Jo Oliver: How has this come about?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: We used to have off campus courses in here we used to. Get it off the tennis club. yeah. You know rent off the tennis club.

Jo Oliver: Yeah,OK.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: This side to have our off campus course cause a lot of them wouldn’t go to the ah, a lot of them wouldn’t go to TAFE.

Jo Oliver: No.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: So we bought the TAFE out and we bought the TAFE to work so we’d do many days work over the back and then and do the study here, so that there came their job over there doing bush regeneration and conservation learn about our native plants and learning all about the bush plants that are native to this area and then we decided with Tina Bain, our teacher who was Sue, you know the one who started off with the Art? Well Tina was her friend and she was a A1 teacher for bush regen so she was took us through the bush regen and we studied with her and we had the time of our life, cause she really, really told the boys and told them to get off their backsides you know.

She was straight out eh Donna. Donna worked that with us, there was 10 positions there that we created, we got so many thousand that’s when we became incorporated so we could hit for funding that’s the first time.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah and then from that funding well, we were doing bush regeneration over the back clearing and everything else planting, mulching, cementing tracks the trail in, plus we were home in 93 also same time doing all the panels for the 1993 Indigenous Peoples Conference, World Indigenous Peoples Conference so ever since then we’ve been doing art we’ve been making partners and you know we partnership with a lot of people Wollongong Council has always been a good supporter of us they’ve helped us in a lot of ways. Port Kembla Community Centre Jenny and the girls up there have been fantastic you know a lot of them now we’re working with our AMS you know we’re connecting with a lot of other communities out there with the Universities.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: And the TAFEs that broke down a lot of barriers for us and then a lot of people got a lot more understanding of Aboriginal culture and it broke down a lot of that racism and that. Oh yeah we get everything blah blah stuff, where we don’t and stereotyping you know what I mean so we copped a lot of stereotyping on the mission like we were human beings we might not have been perfect like everybody else expected us to be but we were human beings we were happy and we all enjoyed ourselves living together out here having parties and you know just barbecues and going over to the beach together there things that we enjoyed you know. And have our elders there like our mum our mum still lived in Nowra but we used to bring her up here often Donna like I said Donna was the youngest and she would become mum’s carer and bring her up here to have a couple days in and they head back down home. You know but I was enjoyable to us.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: You know, and our kids call this home.  This is their home our kids you know their grandfather lived here, you know he lived in the sand hills over the back their grandfather and grandmother and this their connection here this is home this is their home Coomaditchie is their home. They love Bomaderry – Nowra and they call themselves the Bomo Swamp Rats, but this is home this is where they were born and bred went to school.

Jo Oliver: Your place.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: This is our place.

Jo Oliver: And you feel that you’ve got respect now for your culture?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah, we have for our culture and community bit more respect bit more understanding.

Jo Oliver: Culture goes back a long way doesn’t it?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: It goes a long way, that’s what I said, That’s what we try to tell our kids cause we run a what’s it called an alternative learning centre here now 5 days a week for any aboriginal kids in the 5 schools we work with and I they get suspended or they don’t connect

Narelle: or for their own safety

Aunty Lorraine Brown: yeah for their own safety they bring them out here and we work with them and we try to tell them look you know we had people that fought for you to be in school you don’t realize we weren’t allowed to be in schools at certain times if people complained about us being there

 Narelle: how important education is

Aunty Lorraine Brown:  you don’t know we tell them how the advancement league started here and people like Aunty Dolly Henry and Aunty Mary Davis, Uncle Bobby Davis, Uncle Teddy Davis, Uncle Fred Moore and a couple of the other white fellas travelled with them and protected them going up and down the coast so that the police wouldn’t hurt them while those strong women fought and I think there was only older too, but they travelled the coast and while the white men was with them the police couldn’t hurt them so they used to travel up down fighting for rights and going to our communities and telling them to start standing up.  And we’re very proud of those ladies and men and Uncle Fred who all the Aboriginals call Uncle Fred, Uncle Fred Moore he’s a champion amongst our people.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah he is cause he stands out and he’s known my hubby since he was a tiny little Boy and his daughter used to come here and play with the Aboriginal kids on here so Uncle Fred’s known my husband and my husband’s parents and all the old fellas that you know from the past, yeah so we’re very, very happy with that. Yep. Are you passing it on to the next generation?  Passing it on we try to tell the kids you gotta keep a culture otherwise if you lose it you lose 40-60 thousand year of your culture.

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Your identity’s gone.

Jo Oliver: So, the kids that come in here I saw them the other day painting How does it work?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: We let them, teach want them to tell their stories on canvas and we tell them what do, you’re doing painting now because look at the hands and look how he’s done that. I mean that’s beautiful that work.

Jo Oliver: Amazing.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: You know And so we’re getting we’re also having an art exhibition on the 20th here.

Jo Oliver:  OK.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: And it’s going to be our NAIDOC because things that we wanted for NAIDOC are already booked out so we’re just waiting a bit longer we’ll have a NAIDOC a bit.

Jo Oliver: OK.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Later on up the road but on the 20th we’re going to have that art exhibition here now if kids our kids are going to exhibit with our Coomie kids and you know the next book is going to be theirs to design next these students so we’ve got 12 segments and the kids are going to pick a segment each and paint that to that area so whoever’s got the first page they’ve all got a copy the same design on the animals

Jo Oliver: And the things you put in your paintings are they have they local significance or are they more your? How does it work?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Some of its local and some of its just all Australia symbols you know so we’ve done a couple of our own like the pippies and stuff like that eh Narelle that we identify with.

Jo Oliver: Yeah, OK.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: So, but yeah but I think most of the symbols are the same everywhere now and you if you look at all Aboriginal Art.

Narelle: It’s pretty much the same.

Jo Oliver: And the Lagoon I just drove in past it on the way in it looks beautiful! I saw pelicans.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah, yeah, the pelicans are there we used to swans but now they’re gone.

Jo Oliver: And so, you did a lot of cleaning up on that did you? What was it like before?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: We did a lot we did a lot of the cleaning up around the edge of the lagoon on the southern side because like I said the tip was pushed right back to the edge of that now, first  it was the house household tip and then it was a steel works dump so a lot of it was destroyed. I mean the sandhills were massive at the end of that lagoon, you know it was high snow white sandhills there too and the lagoon is the only other lagoon other than the one in Jervis Bay Recreational…

I think there’s a beach there that is a sand or dunal lagoon is hidden behind up behind  the sand hills and it’s a very significant lagoon so there’s only two left along here so we want to look after it, people don’t realise the damage that they do to it.

You know we were we also want to try to stop like because someone’s put carp in there and the carp as big as a boat nearly, so we’ve also had we’ve also had fishing programmes we went for fishing. We had fishing programmes with Steve Starling in there We’ve had Tony Misovich from Council we went for a grant to get the, to get the carp out of there so we got gill, gill nets and that and they went in and tried to get them but the carp were that big and they totally destroyed the weed system around there in that lagoon and which was so thick the birds could walk around in the middle of the water and be protected there but now it’s gone, it’s just gone.

Jo Oliver: So, you’re still working on the lagoon getting it?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah well, its constant. It’s gotta be done every year to keep clean to keep the weeds down and you know Aboriginal lands council  had a green team in there and we’ve also had a lot of local people that’s been involved in that that’s helped us a lot of volunteers, bush care groups and we thank all of them for being a part of that you know because it’s caring for something that’s very special in our area now as it’s a special area it’s got fresh water long neck turtles but they won’t be there if they keep you know to keep the carp if it keeps coming in there and it’s not filtered with the right weeds reeds I mean that go in there you know a lot of work in there.

Jo Oliver: And how do you see the future for your people here?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Oh, I don’t think I don’t think they’ll move off here because you’ve got the generations that just don’t want to move off here. We want we’ve got the other one our kids want homes on here, so we want homes built for our generation of kids just like the other missions around the place.

Jo Oliver: Yeah, yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown:  You know like Wreck Bay has got continued housing for their families you know up of the young ones that are grown up that are young adults who’ve got families now so we’d like to see that happen on here because we’ve our family and they don’t want to move off here their happy this is where they want to live you know this is it this is the place yeah.

Jo Oliver: You think that can happen, that will be?

Aunty Lorraine Brown: We hope it is going happen well we hope that’s what we are hoping with Lands Council they get more housing on here for them.  You’ve got to cater for the young ones mate you’ve got to cater for young men as well as young women.

Jo Oliver: So Yeah well thanks for talking Lorraine.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Oh, it’s been great you know thank you very much for coming out

Jo Oliver: Yeah.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: We’ll try and get you some couple. Yeah, I give you a ring.

Jo Oliver: All right

Aunty Lorraine Brown: Yeah.

Jo Oliver: Thanks.

Aunty Lorraine Brown: So, thank you very much Jo.