15 July 2018.

As part of NAIDOC week celebrations, Able’s East Melbourne Lifestyle Choices group Able East had the privilege of having Aboriginal Elder Aunty Jacko (Judith Jackson) visit to speak about Aboriginal culture and tell her life story. Judy is from Roma (Queensland) and is a part of the Gunggari tribe.

Service Coordinator Kelly George saw NAIDOC week as a great chance to promote cultural awareness and contacted Judy to ask her to come along and speak with the group. Everyone was excited and client Lorna even stood up and sang to Judy (which Judy loved)!

Judy spoke about her life and how things have changed since she was a child, telling stories about her parents, siblings, community and work life. Judy chose to focus on talking about her grandmother (Emma Jackson), as the theme for NAIDOC week this year is “because of her we can”. Judy’s grandmother was a woman with many skills and responsibilities, and cared for her family and the community while undertaking a number of different careers and challenges along the way.

The group was given the opportunity to learn about dreamtime stories and what certain symbols mean in Judy’s culture, as well as the different ceremonies she has been involved with and their purposes.

Staff and clients asked questions and were able to really engage in what Judy had to say about Aboriginal culture. Judy seemed to have a calming effect on the clients and they all wanted to have some one-on-one time with her to which she happily obliged.

NAIDOC week runs from 8 July – 15 July 2018 and celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.