A message from Gaja Kerry

As a Go’enpul – Yuggera Elder, I welcome you all on Yuggera djarra (Yuggera country). In our language we call ourselves Goori.  Through the hard work of many people and our communities Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue be staunch and proud, to achieve their dreams and inspire others.  We are still recovering from our common and diverse histories.  Projects like Families are First can contribute to the restoration and reconstitution of how we were and are today.  

We carry the DNA of our ancestors within us - we are the world’s oldest living culture.  We have ancient roots and we are modern people too.  By sharing our stories we connect to what’s good and important to us as Goori - our roots, old wisdom, cultures and new ways.  Its a great way to honour our past, live in the present and shape our tomorrow.  

It's a joy to see opportunities available that meet the aspirations of our children and youth.  Sharing stories supports and encourages them as they make their mark in life, crossing lands and waters. By keeping our stories and our languages alive we strengthen ourselves, our families, communities and our country.  May you be blessed and safe as you walk and talk on Yuggera Djarra and tell your story - celebrate Goori. 

Gaja / Aunty Kerry

Gaja Kerry is Go’enpul – Yuggera, Ngunda - Kabi Kabi of wider Brisbane, Stradbroke Island, Moreton Bay and Walagama of North Queensland. The Yuggera word Gaja denotes eldership / seniority.  Aunty a modern version.

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A painting done by an Aboriginal man depicting his family tree. The family members are shown as circles created from concentric circles of white, red and yellow ochre dots connected to one another by lines of white dots. The background is black with line work in yellow ochre.

My Family Tree

This painting shows my family. My siblings and I come from our parents and our family connections flow from them, through us to our children and grandchildren. Our lives will continue, through this younger generation as they go on their life's journey. My sister and my daughter both lost young ones. While their lives are lost, they are not lost to our family. We remember them and keep them close in our hearts.

Gavin, Far North Queensland