Maam-yok Muriel Bowie nee Blurton

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


Ngany koolang-kwart Balardong boodja-k wer boorda ngany kaadatj nganyang moort baalap koodjir Wadjak. Ngany koolang-kwart marlak-ngat ali Nyoongar yoka yoowardja bwora menditj- miya-p koorl. Ngany nyin 9 years ngooni-kadak wer djookan-kadak wer nganyang Maambart-kadak, John wer nganyang Ngaangk-kadak, Gladys Burton, nee Bandry.

Ngany kaadadjiny-miya-p-koorl, York State School, yalka aliny yoowart high schools, ngolanga year 7 wer ngany wort-koorl.


Ngany warn barna-boodja-koop-ngat:- miya-warn woma windang yoka-kadak; bwora kookendjeri- miya-p; wer ngany yekan boodja-kaditj-kaditj –ak yaka 12 years-kadak. Nidja warn koongko-k nganyang moort-ak wer dandjoo-ngin.

Ngany djoorap-djoorap boola waabiny borl-boorn- waap (hockey), badjedborl, nedborl wer djenaborl.

Nganyang windang Moyran baal waangkan boola bardip; baal kalyakoorl waangkan Nyoongar bardip aliny-ak ngalak mining koorl ka warba yoowart koorl. Ngany kalyakoorl kakarook-koorl Koolbaroo-ngat (Coolbaroo) djookan-kadak Boorloo Town Hall-ngat wer boodja-p-ngat. Boola yoka woondang baalabang kwobidak bwoka kakarook-ngat.

Ngolanga nganyang Maambart wer Ngaangk Boorloo-koorl, ngany koodjir koorl wer warn-kadak Mexi-ngat Inglewood-ngat, kardjal doorak-midi kakaloorniny wer moorditj yidjowiny.

Kwedjang ngany kakarook-koorl djookan-kadak, ngany djinang nganyang mila-k kardo. Ngalak kardo- kadak wer 3 koolangka-kadak, 3 (‘grannies’)-kadak wer 5 koomba-mamal (‘grannies’)-kadak.

Nganyang moolyak warangan baal yang nganyang moort-ak kwobadjil kaadadjiny-miya-p-kadak.

Nganyang community dandjoo-warn 20 years-ngat Anawim Aboriginal Women’s Refuge. Ngany moolyak wardakadak Yorgum-ngat wer Nyoongar Embleton Catholic Church wer honorary Birdiya co-researcher Telethon Koolangka-ngat.

Ngolanga nidja yeyi ngany 80 years-abiny!!


I was born in 1941 on Ballardong country and I found out later my family also belongs to Whadjuk. I was born in the bush when Nyoongar women were not allowed in hospitals. I grew up with my nine siblings, and parents John and Gladys Blurton nee Bandry.

I went to York State School but there were no high schools so I left after Year 7. To help support my family, I worked on the farm - doing housework with some of the ladies - in the shearing shed – and I drove the tractor as a 12-year-old. I loved playing sports, including hockey, basketball, netball, and even football.

My old Pop told me lots of stories; he used to talk about the Nyoongar stories about where we were allowed to go or sacred sites that we weren’t allowed to go to. I used to go dancing at the Coolbaroo dances with my sisters - at the Perth Town Hall and in country towns. All the girls would turn up in their pretty clothes.

When my parents moved down to Perth, I came down too and got a job washing and packing cool drink bottles for Mexi in Inglewood. When I was out nightclubbing with my sisters, I ran into my husband. We got married, and had three children, three grandchildren and five great-grandsons. My aim is to achieve something for them so they can have better schooling than I had. My community work includes 20 years at Anawim Aboriginal Women’s Refuge, I’m a foundation member of Yorgum, and of the Nyoongar Embleton Catholic Church, and honorary Elder co-researcher for Telethon Kids.

I will be turning 80 next year.

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