Maam-yok Margaret Culbong – Moogeddy

Eva Fernández
Aunty Muriel Bowie nee Blurton, 2020
Digital print on Ilford Galerie Pearl paper
80 x 120cm
City of Perth Cultural Collections


Nganyang moolyak warangan baal Aboriginal moort- ak bandang kwobadjil.

Kwedjanat, ngin Aboriginal moort-ak wara-djil wer Native Welfare baalap kalyakoorl bandang-kadak waangkan moort-ak. Yeyi ngalang Birdiya wer woma Aboriginal maaman wer yoka moordidjilabiny wer ngalak warn Aboriginal-ngat baarnakwarang-ngat wer nakolak-ngat moort-ak mila-k nyininy.

Ngany koolang-kwart Narrogin-ngat, Koomba Kongal-ngat (Great Southern), 1944. Nganyang kwoba-kwerl baal Mookedi. (Moogeddy) Ali ngany 16, ngany barang kwobadjil kaadatj-boya-bibool (scholarship) kaadatj bibool-ngat wer boya-ngat boyiroyit James Street Technical College, Boorloo-k- ngat, wer koodjir koodjal year-ak kaadadjiny boyiroyit maar-koorl-kadak.


Ngolanga Boorloo-k kaadadjiny, ngany korl-koorl Narrogin-ngat wer warn Native Welfare Department-ngat ali baalap yoowarda koordaak Aboriginal maaman ka yoka baalabany-kadak warn. Koordoodjool-kadak, ngany yoowarda djinang Native Welfare bibool-ak wer djinang ali baalap nganyang moort-ak maar-koorl-kadak.

Moort-ak ngin, ngany kaaratj nganyang ngooni-k wer djookan-ak yalka Native Welfare baalabany yoordjang. Ngany mining yaka waangkan ali baalap koorl wer ngany waangkan Sister Kate’s wer yoowarda baalabany mission yidjow.

Ngany korl-koorl warn-kadak Boorloo-ngat, Native Welfare Department-kadak, wer karo ngany kaadatj menditj-yokabiny ali karnadjil yoowarda koordaak warn ali Kalkoorli (Kalgoorlie) yoowarda nganyang boodja.

Ngany kardo-kadak wer 4 mamal-kadak. Ngalak nginow Jambinoo (Geraldton) 20 ka 30 years, wer mal-mal aliny ngany dombart ngaangk-kadak.

Ngany warn communities-kadak Public Health Department-kadak. Kwedjanat baalap yoowarda kaaradjiny Aboriginal community-ngat wer ngany kwobaanidjow Aboriginal-Birdiya wer community menditj-wowakin-ngin wer kaat-wowakin-ngin moort- ak, moolyak Jambinoo-k, boorda Broome-ngat.


My main passion is basic human rights for Aboriginal people. When I was younger, racism and discrimination were in full force and the Native Welfare Department called all the shots. Now, Elders and other Aboriginal people are very strong and we work for Aboriginal lore and culture for the generations to come.

I was born in Narrogin in the Great Southern in 1944. My nickname was Moogeddy. When I was 16 I received a scholarship to study office management at the James Street Technical College in Perth, and in my second year studied art as well. Afterwards I went back to Narrogin and worked for the Native Welfare Department as at the time no-one wanted to employ Aboriginal people. Frustratingly though, I was not allowed to look in the Native Welfare files and see what was written about my own family.

Due to family problems, I cared for my siblings, but then Native Welfare had them committed. I was only allowed to choose where they went and picked Sister Kate’s rather than have them sent to a mission.

I transferred back to Perth with the Native Welfare Department, then trained as a nurse, which I didn’t really want to do, especially out of my country in Kalgoorlie. I got married and had four boys. We lived in Geraldton for twenty or thirty years and some of that time I was a single parent. I worked in communities with the Public Health Department. At the time, Public Health wasn’t catering for the Aboriginal community so I was involved in setting up Aboriginal-community-controlled medical and mental-health services, first in Geraldton, then in Broome.

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