Maam-yok Theresa Walley

Eva Fernández
Aunty Theresa Walley, 2020
Digital print on Ilford Galerie Pearl paper
80 x 120cm
City of Perth Cultural Collections


Bwoka baal karnadjil koora-koora bardip kwedjanat wadjila-koorl. Ngany djoorap yang bandang-kadak ali bwoka ngalang moolyak-midi kaalangabiny – djookern baalabany boodja-k wer arn ngoornt-midi ka bwoka woondanginy.

Nganyang ngaangk boodja baal Boorloo, Wadjak boodja wer ngany woomboodin-kadak dalanginy nganyang ngaangk djena-djooroot. Baalang koomba kabarli baal Doolbak (Tulbak) wer ali naadjil nganyang ngin kalyakoorl nidja nyin. Balardong baal nganyang maambart boodja-k.

Ngany Stolen Generation koolang wer ngany yoordjang New Norcia-ngat. Ngalak boola warn mission-ngat, yoowardjil kaadadjiny-miya-p koorl. Mereny wedjaniny (olives and grapes), bwoka kakaloorniny aliny ngalak kalyakoorl warn-kadak. Ngolanga 16 years ngalak aliny djarnyak wandja wer ngany yoowart miya-kadak yalka keny yoka baal ngany-ak barang Bennett House-ngat. Ngolanga ngalak wandja mission, baalap yang ngalany-ak kwoba bwoka, djena-bwoka wer kooda. Aliny keny moorditj-midi!

Ngany yoowardjil wart nganyang ngaangk kwedjanat ngany kardo-kadak wer nidja moort-kadak Medina-k, wer ngalak miya-kadak. Ngaangk baal weyarn ali moondoong baalany-ool ngakayin – koolangka, kardo wandja, miya wer koodjir baal miyal djinang- broo.Winyarn! Ngolanga baal wart ngalany, baal waangkan, “God was good to me”. Ngolanga wandjaniny mission, bandang nganyang ngooni baalap nidja koodjir ali yoowart miya-p nyin.

Ngany maar-koorl wer malidji maar-koorl. Ngany boola boola kaadadjiny-miya-p-koorl, kaadadjiny ngalang nakolak, ngalang ngin wer marlak-ngat nyininy.

Ngany moorditj moort-kadak, Baalap bandang warniny wer ngany woomboodin-kadak baalabany- ak, baalabang warn, baalabang ngin. Baalap nganyang koondarm yalka yeyi baal karnadjil-abiny nganyang koolangka koondarm-kadak.


The booka shows our real history in the days before the pioneers. I like to show people that the booka was our main use of being warm – put them on the ground and cover them over the bed as well as wearing it.

My mother’s country is Perth, Wadjuk country and I’m proud to be following in my mother’s footsteps. Her great-grandmother is Tulbak. That’s why I lived most of my life here. Ballardong country is my father’s home.

I was a stolen generation child and I was taken to New Norcia. We were the workers at the mission, never got any education. Olive picking, grape picking, laundry was a full-time job. At the age of 16 when we had to leave there, I was like a street kid for a while until one of the girls took me to Bennett House. One good thing they gave us when we left the mission was nice clothes and shoes and handbag.

I never found my mum until I was married with my family here in Medina, when we had a home. She was saddened that everything was taken from her – children, husband left, home, but she was also blind. When she found us, she said, “God was good to me”. All my brothers was here too when they left the mission and had nowhere to go.

I’m a writer and an artist. I’ve been to just about all the schools teaching our culture and way of life and survival in the bush. I’ve got a great family too. They are all working and I am proud of them because with the work they do and the life they live was my dreams but it’s all coming true with my children.

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