Pams Place (Moogs) Aboriginal Nanny’s Advocacy & Support Group Inner West
The ‘Pam’s Place’ Nan’s Group welcomed a visit from Mrs Linda Hurley, wife of His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales, at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west on Friday 16 June.
Greeted upon arrival by the Centre’s CEO, Rosanna Barbero, and Suzanne Ingram, who coordinated Mrs Hurley’s visit through the Redfern Aboriginal Women’s Alliance (RAWA) and UNSW, Mrs Hurley enjoyed a short stroll through the grounds to Hut 47 where she was warmly received by Mrs Esther Carroll, founder and Elder of the Nan’s Group and introduced to founding members June Coe, Elizabeth Ingram and Shiralee Carroll. It was also a special opportunity to introduce LeeAnne Hunter, daughter of Pam, in whose honour ‘Pam’s Place’ was named, and Ms Hunter’s son, Deegan.
The Nan’s Group proudly presented a touching tribute to cofounders who had sadly passed away, Mrs Gail Pencheff and Ms Barbara Asplett. The video tribute was produced by Vi Pham, Community and Cultural Connections Inc, who has lent invaluable support to the Nan’s Group.
The high care role that many senior and elderly Aboriginal women carry impacts on their own health, and the Nan’s Group aims to provide a point of support. Mrs Hurley listened intently as the women described their experiences of raising grandchildren, caring for adult children and relatives with chronic illness or pain, navigating services for family with disabilities, issues with policing, and dealing with family and domestic violence. Listening wholeheartedly to the personal stories the group shared, Mrs Hurley acknowledged the women as the “backbone of the community” in respect of their care role in their family and community. She also spent time listening to the young men who attended speaking about parenting, employment and supporting a happy, growing family. Mrs Hurley spoke about the importance of Aboriginal family kinship that she had witnessed accompanying her husband throughout New South Wales.
Grouped together in the bright and cheery Hut 47, the gathering then enjoyed a lively morning tea with conversation, homemade treats and song! Mrs Hurley started a sing-a-long with ‘You Are My Sunshine’, which she explained she had introduced to gatherings at Government House, which was taken up by Mrs Carroll with old mission songs including ‘Take Me Back To Erambie’ and ‘Keep Your Seats Please’.
The morning wound up with many photos, warm hugs and presentation of flowers to Mrs Hurley as a parting thank you gift.
Mrs Hurley is looking forward to hosting the ‘Pam’s Place’ Nan’s Group along with Aboriginal women’s groups from across the Sydney region to morning tea at Government House Sydney later in the year.
(Knowledge to Suzanne Ingram for writing this piece.)