MORUYA Probus members at the November meeting on Tuesday heard something about the first people of this area and, judging from the applause speaker Patricia Ellis received, they were very pleased to have done so.
Ms Ellis is a Brinja Djuuwin woman and has worked as a part time teacher at TAFE for more than 30 years. Her passion is to share Indigenous culture and she has dedicated much of her life to sharing her deep knowledge of her people and culture.
She recently received the Bruce Kendall Award for Recognition of Service to Tafe NSW at the 2017 Gili Awards in Sydney.
Her people had lived here for more than 60,000 years, she said, though they did not believe they owned the land, but were taking care of it for their children.
Using a whiteboard, Patricia showed the areas occupied by various tribes from Sydney (the Darawal people) to Eden (the Dhawa). They included the Wathergadarls from Bermagui area, their name meaning “Little People”. They were only about four-foot tall she said, and while they were now extinct remains of them have been found.
She also spoke of Aboriginal people’s totems, Moruya groups the Yuin and Brinja having the black duck and black swans, respectively, as theirs. Totems, Patricia said, were creatures looked after by people who had them as their totems.
Language was also covered, Patricia saying that the local alphabet had only 21 letters. “It is a simple language,” she said, “that can be learned in 15 days.”
Earlier in the meeting the Club heard from Probus District President Ross Ellis, who was clearly impressed by Moruya. He said his area extended from Mittagong to Eden. Several of the clubs were having difficulty in encouraging members to take on committee positions. “I urge you strongly to get involved,” he told members.
Activities officer Bruce Imrie reminded members that payment was required for the Christmas luncheon, to be held at the Golf Club. He said members had enjoyed the recent outing to Tilba Winery, adding that the January luncheon would be at the Adelaide Hotel on the 16th.
Tours officer Barbara Dorman said a day out to Eden was being organised for March. Members were also told of a coach tour to Joadja (near Mittagong) also on offer for next year.
There were 38 members at the meeting, Di Montgomerie announced, and three visitors.
Moruya Probus meets at Moruya Golf Club at ten-o’clock on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
There are many advantages with being a member of Probus. Apart from meeting new friends, and sometimes some old ones, there are opportunities of being involved in outings. There are discounts for some members with restaurants and hotels and more reasonable travel insurance rates that seniors may otherwise be offered.