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Emma Stenhouse

Indigenous Australian artist


Emma Stenhouse

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This week on the podcast we are celebrating 100 episodes ! Hip hip horray! My guest is Emma Stenhouse, an Indigenous artisan and Ngarrindjeri Woman who is the mother of 3 children.

Emma can be described as many things - indigenous artisan, Ngarrindjeri Woman, artist, weaver, printmaker, designer and sewist. Emma Stenhouse is taking the first steps on her journey in belonging and becoming connected with her Ngarrindjeri heritage.

Her work is predominantly inspired by nature and connection to country using elements of contemporary art and traditional Iconography. Emma ignites the flame of love for Country in other hearts and minds. A multifaceted creative, she explores diverse practices. Each piece is braided with learning, exchange between artist and viewer, a continuation of culture - a platform for cross cultural exchange

An experienced early childhood educator, Emma imparts her knowledge of culture, implementing programming including traditional indigenous creative practices guided by Gunditjmara elders. A gatherer and sharer of knowledge, she uses this to guide her own journey. She builds capacity for others to learn and develop their own connections.

Emma's story spans across four decades, desert and sea; as she explores the challenges and monuments of her cultural growth, connection to Country and being an Artist. Moving through time and space, from the bush to the beach her stories are formed by her deep relationship to land and guided by strong female role models in her community.

**Emma’s epiosde contains mentions of the loss of a child**

Emma - website

Podcast - instagram / website

If today’s episode is triggering for you in any way I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of great international resources here

Music used with permission from Alemjo, my new age ambient muic trio.

When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.

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Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast

I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!


Thank you!


Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.



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Welcome to the Art of Being a Mum podcast where I, Alison Newman, a singer, songwriter and Aussie mum of two,


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enjoys honest and inspiring conversations with artists and creators about the joys and issues they've encountered


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while trying to be a mum and continue to create.


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You'll hear themes like the mental juggle, changes in identity, how their work's been influenced by motherhood,


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mum guilt, cultural norms and we also strain to territory such as the patriarchy, feminism and capitalism.


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You can find links to my guests and topics we discuss in the show notes along with a link to the music played,


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how to get in touch and a link to join our supportive and lively community on Instagram.


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I'll always put a trigger warning if we discuss sensitive topics on the podcast but if at any time you're concerned about your mental health


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I urge you to talk to those around you, reach out to health professionals or seek out resources online.


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I've compiled a list of international resources which can be accessed on the podcast landing page,


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The Art of Being a Mum would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and water


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which this podcast is recorded on as being the Bowendig people.


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I'm working on land that was never seeded.


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Hello and welcome to episode 100 of the Art of Being a Mum podcast.


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It is an absolutely amazing experience to say that I have stuck with this for 100 episodes


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and that I have been lucky enough to have 100 mums and a few dads hang out with me and want to share openly and honestly.


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And for you guys to listen. Thank you so much for being a part of this, it is such a wonderful experience for me


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and I hope it can continue. My work hours are getting a little bit more flexible so fingers crossed


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there'll be more podcasts to come. But of course in the meantime please enjoy my written article series


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which is pretty much the same as the podcast but it's completely answered by my guests.


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So I give them the questions, they write back the answers and I collate them and put it into the website.


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So you can check those out at slash articles.


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My 100th guest this week is Emma Stenhouse. Emma's an Indigenous artisan and Narangjerri woman


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and she's the mother of three children. Emma can be described as many things, Indigenous artist,


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weaver, printmaker, designer and sewist. Emma's taking the first steps on her journey to belonging


00:02:47,240 --> 00:02:53,800

and becoming connected with her Narangjerri heritage. Her work is predominantly inspired by nature


00:02:53,800 --> 00:02:59,160

and her connection to country using elements of contemporary art and traditional iconography.


00:02:59,880 --> 00:03:05,960

Emma ignites the flame of love for country in other hearts and minds. A multi-faceted creative


00:03:05,960 --> 00:03:12,120

she explores diverse practices and each piece is braided with learning, exchange between artist


00:03:12,120 --> 00:03:18,040

and viewer, a continuation of culture and a platform for cross-cultural exchange.


00:03:18,920 --> 00:03:24,520

An experienced early childhood educator Emma imparts her knowledge of culture implementing


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programming including traditional Indigenous creative practices guided by Gundurama elders.


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A gatherer and share of knowledge Emma uses this to guide her own journey. She builds capacity for


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others to learn and develop their own connections. Emma's story spans across four decades across


00:03:44,360 --> 00:03:50,440

desert and sea as she explores the challenges and monuments of her cultural growth, connection to


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country and being an artist. Moving through time and space from the bush to the beach her stories


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are formed by her deep relationship to land and guided by strong female role models in her community.


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Please be aware that Emma's episode contains discussions about the loss of a child.


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Throughout today's episode you'll hear music from Indigenous Australians, our First Nations people


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and this is used with permission. Thank you so much for tuning in again it is such a


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such a momentous moment such a moment to be celebrating 100 episodes and I'm so thrilled


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that you're here and I hope that you'll hang out with me again in the future.


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Thank you so much Emma it's a pleasure to welcome you to the podcast today thanks for coming on.


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Thank you very much for having me I'm very excited. Oh awesome so you're in Western Victoria


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in Warrnambool which isn't that far from me which is pretty exciting. I think you're the


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closest person I've had on apart from people in my own town. Oh wow um yeah I've been to Warrnambool


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I've been to Mount Gambier a couple of times um just for work so I haven't really been over there


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to check it out too much but um I'd love to go over and have a wander around there's some lakes


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or something close by to you guys that I want to go yeah swimming in. Yes oh yes so we've got the


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Blue Lake which is like our water source which is like the most beautiful blue sort of November


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onwards um but yes the little blue lake is that's our like local swimming spot that we love to go


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like our family um and it's like a just a just a sinkhole in the middle of a paddock out in the


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middle of nowhere and it's freezing most of the time but for a very short period of time in summer


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it's really really good so it's pretty popular. I'm used to the colds um yeah I actually don't go


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in the water here without a wetsuit so I'm a country kid I'm originally from Broken Hill so I


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grew up um in the desert and loving the heat so it's been a real um shock to the sister moving


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here and adjusting to the climate because it's always so cold. Oh yeah look I can I can relate


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to that and you're probably even colder than what we are because you're right near the ocean like


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on the ocean there aren't you? Yeah we're literally um a block back from the beach so the wind is you


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know always quite strong and very chilly. Yeah now my um mum used to have a horse that used to get


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trained over there and they'd always send us videos of the horses like paddling in the water and I


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always think god that looks so cold those poor horses. I know I know I walk the beach every day


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and um watch them train the horses and yeah often just shudder looking at them and the jockeys who


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who do actually like get in with them and oh yeah not my not my cup of tea but it is lovely to watch.


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Yeah yeah no it'd be good having that around um so do you mind me asking what what brought you to


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Born & Poop? Yeah so my husband's job we um both of us are born and bred in Broken Hill um and


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I guess we went on a bit of a five-week holiday along the south coast of New South Wales


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with our two sons um in a camper trailer and kind of did the off-grid thing a little bit


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and then sort of moved back to town and thought oh why are we living here like it's beautiful


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um and it's home but just the opportunities um for our kids just yeah I guess it's quite isolated


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to live you know um in the far west of New South Wales so yeah my husband decided to try for a


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sea change so he applied for the job in um Warrnambool and we told everyone a big fat lie


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and told them we were going to Melbourne for the weekend and we secretly came to Warrnambool and


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spent three days here and he had his interview and we you know scoped the place out and checked out


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the schools and you know wondered if it would be okay for us to live here and then yeah um


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he sort of got the call and said you've got the job and he left within sort of two weeks and


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yeah I stayed home in Broken Hill with the kids until Lucky finished high school and then we moved


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yeah just before Christmas so um I haven't looked back I mean it's the complete opposite um but I


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feel really blessed I guess to have two beautiful homes that are so different to each other


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um yeah absolutely I love that that's a great great yeah best of both worlds yeah that's it


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So you're an artist can you tell everyone what sort of style of art that you make


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and what sort of mediums that you use? Sure so um I'm an Indigenous artist um a contemporary


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Indigenous artist so I use traditional iconography um in a contemporary way I guess and my art is


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about storytelling uh and the stories that I um create I guess uh sort of speak to um my journey


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um in connecting to culture but also the strong women that have um guided me through this process


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um I guess I was I sort of always knew I was Aboriginal but hadn't had that really strong


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guidance in my life up until I turned 40 and sort of went oh this is missing in my life so


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yeah just re-established those um family connections and um yeah now really lucky


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to be a full-time artist so um as far as my artwork I paint in I paint with acrylics um but


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I kind of I can't limit myself I like to have a go at everything so um I've been making my own


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ochre um watercolour that's sort of been happening the last couple of weeks um


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with sort of guidance from lovely um Aboriginal elders and yeah I love printmaking just any


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any sort of medium I guess um I'll have a crack at it. Well that'd keep things interesting though


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wouldn't it like if you said I don't get bored at all. Yeah absolutely I've actually got one of your


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when you said on the email that your your artwork is at Green Door here in Mount Gambier and I've


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actually got um I can't remember what it was called now but it's um it's pink and it sort of


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goes in an arch. Oh yep. And there was a blue one that was kind of similar and um yeah unfortunately


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I'm not in the normal place I am for recording you'd be able to see it behind me which would


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have been really cool. I'm very grateful to Annie um she's been um a wonderful support to me but


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not just me I mean female artists in general she has just really helped just all I guess um


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yeah put ourselves out there a bit more and have that sort of


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just that kind support she's she's just such a lovely warm person and really genuine um so yeah


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I do feel really lucky and I know sort of um some of the other artists who have their work there


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feel the same so very blessed. Yeah shout out to Annie if she's listening.


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Oh dear.


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Were you always um into painting and creating growing up?


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Absolutely I can't actually remember a time where I wasn't making something so I remember


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being a kid and you know just doing little drawings for my aunties um


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my Nan was a dressmaker so I loved to watch her sew um and that's sort of something I had to go


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at I guess um in my 30s that was that became quite a passion for me learning to sew and um


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getting my all my Nan's old beautiful buttons and things like that and just um developing a real


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strong sort of sense of textile and pattern and surface design um and then I've yeah I've


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went through another stage where it was all about screen printing so I went and you know got when


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I did some courses and um yeah I had a little shop in Broken Hill where I used to run screen


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printing workshops and I'd teach you know anyone I guess from sort of five years old up to 101 was


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I went out to the nursing home and did a um we made tea towels with the residents out there and


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yeah I was really lucky to I just yeah meeting people through my arts practice is like the biggest


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gift ever. Yeah yeah and having that community and being able to share common a common interest


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with people. Yeah absolutely yeah. So you mentioned that you're you've got your Indigenous heritage


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has that always inspired what you're creating? It's always uh it's always been there in terms


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of like I've had such a strong connection to country and nature like I think that's just an


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innate thing that I've I've always had I've always been that outside kid and been fascinated in in


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nature like you know just the simple things like a leaf you know the veins on a leaf they they're


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captivating um you know dragonflies lizards all sorts of things I was the kid that was always


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came home with you know a pocket full of rocks and a stick and you know a leaf or a feather


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um so just having that real connection to country I think and then sort of you know in the last few


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years really connecting with um with my family and learning learning about culture but on so many


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different deeper levels um and just I guess allowing myself to acknowledge that knowing that


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I've always had but um haven't had the guidance from family to to help me explore that. Yeah yeah


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and yeah to sort of to take you into those deeper places and you talk about the um the traditional


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imagery that you use was that something that you'd always sort of done or has that sort of come in


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more since you sort of connected? I've always I've always had a like I don't know I've always had


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like um like questions and are wondering like where does where do I fit in in all of this


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um like growing up in Broken Hill my dad um was Aboriginal but he left so I sort of grew up um


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just with my mum and my brother and we you know we lived in a commission house on the outskirts of


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town um there were a lot of other Aboriginal people and families that lived in our street


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but I had really fair skin compared to them so I didn't sort of feel like I fitted in there


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and then I was sort of too dark to be you know like one of the white kids I suppose so I've


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always had this sort of feeling that I never sort of quite fitted in and I think that's led me to


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want to explore like in a lot of aspects of life just I've always had that curiosity I suppose


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and so yeah I've really um consciously been I guess just peeling back layers if you will trying


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to find out as much as I can not just about my family but um you know but culture in general and


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and the traditional practices and how they've um how they've evolved over the years um you know


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things even though we're still practicing the same art forms they've obviously you know evolved and


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changed so I guess celebrating that and that learning where it comes from because that's


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I guess that's the essence of it for me like that that the traditional stuff.


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Mm-hmm yeah and I think um look coming from someone that has no education sort of not a


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great understanding of Indigenous culture I like I love the patterns and the colours that people


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use like the contemporary Indigenous art and it's just it seems so um flippant to just say


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that I like the patterns and the colours because it's such a there's so much deeper meaning in that


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and the story that that that it actually tells if you know what I mean like there's just so much


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depth in this that it's like you can't just look at it and go that looks nice you know what I mean


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that would be just doing it like a disservice if that makes sense. Yeah absolutely yeah um and


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that's interesting just because I don't know I think you know in the past sort of 10 years people


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are becoming more aware and more connected to Aboriginal art like it's been viewed you know


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around the world with such like wonder and you know the beauty of it but I guess people are


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understanding that connection now so when we paint you know we're painting our story so um


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yeah I think I think it's changing at the moment and that's really nice because that allows us to


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connect with each other and I think you know after COVID we're all sort of like


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leaning into that a bit more. Yeah looking for that looking for that connection and


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meaning deeper meaning of life I think in general yeah people are striving for yeah.


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So you mentioned uh your children briefly how many children you said you had two boys?


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Yeah so I have um my eldest is 18 um and he's just finished high school and I feel really old but I


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have an 18 year old son and can't believe it because it just happened in the blink of an eye


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um and I have a 12 year old um son as well and he's just started high school so


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it's that's all very new um and I just do want to acknowledge like I also have um a daughter who


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would have been um 15 this year and she yeah she passed away um the day that she was born but she's


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sort of been a very big part of my life and I acknowledge her I guess in all that I do um


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having that experience um sort of changed me profoundly in a lot of ways but it's given me


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the perspective that like life's short and if you want to do something then you just you should just


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jump in and have a go like you don't really have anything to lose you like what's the worst that


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can happen I feel like I've already been through the worst so yeah you know just having that


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different perspective and and again you know that's what I guess that brings me back to like that


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wanting to connect to family and knowing more about myself and where I've come from and


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yeah I'm sorry sorry to hear about your daughter that's thank you um thank you for sharing it


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with us it's a it's you know it's a heartbreaking thing to live with um


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I guess all I can say is that I've tried to focus on the positive things that have come from that


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like the beautiful relationships that I've um have with other women and families who have been


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through the same thing um and just my work with Red Nose so I um I work with Red Nose


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at the moment through their Reconciliation Action Plan so um their WRAP um and just anyway I


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and anyway I can support them because that like they've been a great support to my family.


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No that's not that's really lovely so for people who who might not be familiar the Red Nose um


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involved with the SIDS. So they were they were they're formerly um SIDS and KIDS yeah and they


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amalgamated with SANS which is a South Australian organisation as well so they provide sort of


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education and support um and wonderful programs I guess for families like mine who were quite


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isolated at that time we in Broken Hill we didn't have any like we didn't even have a grief counsellor


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so um I sort of took it upon myself to um get some help not just for me there are a lot of other


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women in the community as well so um I reached out to Red Nose and was lucky enough to have an


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educator come out to Broken Hill and spend time with families but also the health professionals


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as well um just giving them education on how to better support um families who have gone through


00:21:32,760 --> 00:21:40,280

the loss of a child so yeah as much as things were you know really hard at that time I feel like I


00:21:42,200 --> 00:21:51,560

tried to I don't know make positive choices in that situation yeah um sort of helped me


00:21:51,560 --> 00:21:57,320

get through that time yeah and to be able to gain that help for other people and


00:21:58,120 --> 00:22:02,760

I guess there's always a sense of you know you don't you wouldn't wish this on anyone sort of


00:22:02,760 --> 00:22:07,560

feeling so you know you're giving that that help to other people in your community as well


00:22:07,560 --> 00:22:17,720

yeah absolutely but also um I guess you know we've come a long way I have in my family I guess I


00:22:17,720 --> 00:22:23,640

was the third generation who had like lost a child so I had an auntie who'd lost a child and my


00:22:23,640 --> 00:22:31,000

grandmother had lost children as well so just knowing their experience and how unfortunately


00:22:31,000 --> 00:22:37,560

how it was dealt with you know back in those days to how far we've come right now um and the work


00:22:37,560 --> 00:22:42,440

that I'm doing with SIDS and Kids is now about you know getting education out to remote communities


00:22:42,440 --> 00:22:47,720

as well so particularly um you know our remote Aboriginal communities all over the country who


00:22:48,600 --> 00:22:57,160

yeah just need a bit more support and um yeah it's it's a it's a tricky thing there's a lot


00:22:57,160 --> 00:23:04,200

sort of culturally that's you know it's hard like language you know barriers and just just distance


00:23:04,200 --> 00:23:09,080

I guess and access to services so uh that's something I'm very passionate about as well


00:23:09,080 --> 00:23:13,880

hmm yeah good on you for doing that


00:23:40,040 --> 00:23:45,240

when you had you when you first became a mum did you go through like a really big sort of shift in


00:23:45,240 --> 00:23:51,640

your identity where you sort of went who am I now you know am I still Emma I'm someone's mom like


00:23:51,640 --> 00:23:58,680

where do where do I sort of fit in to this yeah oh and I think we all do like it's just that's just


00:23:58,680 --> 00:24:05,720

um goes hand in hand with when you become a parent I when I had Lockie um


00:24:05,720 --> 00:24:13,400

um oh gosh I remember just being so full of anxiety you know am I doing this right what am


00:24:13,400 --> 00:24:18,680

I doing oh he's crying all the time he won't settle for me you know just that total lack of


00:24:18,680 --> 00:24:25,320

confidence um that you have when you're a new mum even though like I had an amazing group of


00:24:25,320 --> 00:24:33,320

friends and my my mum was amazing like I had lots of support um but I found like the first probably


00:24:33,320 --> 00:24:40,200

12 months sort of quite challenging um and then I don't know has as he got older and I felt like


00:24:40,200 --> 00:24:47,000

things got easier and I sort of found my way um I just loved every minute like him and I had such a


00:24:47,000 --> 00:24:54,200

close um relationship you know I stayed at home until he went to school um and then I sort of I


00:24:54,200 --> 00:24:59,800

studied early childhood education as well um because I just thought well I don't have the tools


00:24:59,800 --> 00:25:04,680

so if I go and do a bit of study that's only going to help my relationship you know with my kids so


00:25:05,800 --> 00:25:11,800

and that's been that's been a huge part of my life and still is like that the education and


00:25:11,800 --> 00:25:18,600

that sharing with children is just I don't know they're just amazing like they just have that


00:25:18,600 --> 00:25:24,840

joy that we sort of lose as we get older um and working with them just keeps that sort of relevant


00:25:24,840 --> 00:25:30,120

for me it's still it's always there that joy that they have that sense of wonder at the world and


00:25:30,120 --> 00:25:35,160

yeah I love that totally relate to that I'm an early childhood educator I work in a kindy at the


00:25:35,160 --> 00:25:41,000

moment and it's like they just keep you so like grounded on what's actually important in life and


00:25:41,000 --> 00:25:46,280

what's happening right in front of you oh absolutely you know the worst thing might have happened this


00:25:46,280 --> 00:25:50,280

morning like at home if you know not the worst thing but you know the boys might have given me


00:25:50,280 --> 00:25:54,200

trouble getting them up they didn't want to get up or they can't find their shoes or whatever but


00:25:54,200 --> 00:25:59,880

at work it's like someone finds a rock and that is like the center of attention like this rock


00:25:59,880 --> 00:26:04,920

where did it come from what is it what does it do you know it just brings you back to this


00:26:04,920 --> 00:26:10,120

basis that sense of curiosity and I think that's why I've just been really passionate about early


00:26:10,120 --> 00:26:15,720

childhood education for like the best part of 15 years it's played a huge role in my life


00:26:15,720 --> 00:26:25,000

yeah and I'm really lucky now that I get to go and work in schools sort of with my arts practice and


00:26:25,000 --> 00:26:34,040

sharing like my art techniques and just you know general art I guess techniques and different


00:26:34,040 --> 00:26:42,120

mediums but coupling that with culture as well and just they're like little sponges you know like


00:26:42,120 --> 00:26:47,240

they have just you share one thing with them and you know that that's the thing that they're going


00:26:47,240 --> 00:26:52,200

to go home and talk to their parents about like it's yeah it's amazing it's so much fun it is


00:26:52,200 --> 00:26:57,000

isn't it I just absolutely love it I only came to the industry probably 10 years ago and I just wish


00:26:57,000 --> 00:27:03,720

I had a founder earlier because it's just the best it just keeps you just so I don't know on this other


00:27:03,720 --> 00:27:10,680

level of looking at life I don't know oh and they definitely keep you grounded as well like you know


00:27:10,680 --> 00:27:14,520

you can't like if you haven't been to the hairdresser for a little while and you've got some


00:27:14,520 --> 00:27:19,080

sparkles on the side you know first thing they point out oh geez emma you're looking a bit


00:27:19,080 --> 00:27:24,440

your hair's looking a bit strange today or you've got sparkles in your hair oh yeah I know


00:27:24,440 --> 00:27:40,920

oh nothing gets past them does it they're just so honest so honest


00:27:54,440 --> 00:27:58,360

do you like I know I think it's formally called like artist in residence like do you go into the


00:27:58,360 --> 00:28:04,200

schools and like work in on that sort of capacity with the children yeah well essentially yeah I've


00:28:05,160 --> 00:28:12,760

we I do still call it like an artist in residence so um I have been who in the last little while so


00:28:12,760 --> 00:28:19,240

I went out to work in a bill um you know again that's that like just that when you live remotely


00:28:19,240 --> 00:28:24,760

you don't have the same opportunities as what you do like when you're in a more regional area so


00:28:24,760 --> 00:28:28,840

I'm passionate about you know going out and sharing that with with those kids and they're like


00:28:30,520 --> 00:28:36,360

yeah they have a completely different perspective on everything as well um last week I was over in


00:28:36,360 --> 00:28:47,720

Camperdown and helped um Camperdown college we had six students um in the junior school and then 12


00:28:47,720 --> 00:28:54,360

in the senior school and we created two murals so um yeah it's just expanding I guess their knowledge


00:28:54,360 --> 00:29:03,320

about culture but also reminding them to like not lose their wonder about how amazing nature is um


00:29:03,320 --> 00:29:09,080

yeah and it's interesting like I present a nature collage and just you know when they come up and


00:29:09,080 --> 00:29:14,040

grab the different uh bits and pieces of nature that I've collected you know that just that


00:29:14,040 --> 00:29:19,560

oh like remember when we went to the beach and you know I went to the beach with my family and I saw a


00:29:19,560 --> 00:29:27,160

shell like this or um you know just different bird feathers you know they'll talk about like the one


00:29:27,160 --> 00:29:34,200

time that they got swooped by a magpie and you know just the stories and then I guess that just


00:29:34,200 --> 00:29:41,640

reminds them to be yeah more connected to what's actually around them you know we're such a tech


00:29:41,640 --> 00:29:48,040

a tech heavy society these days so getting back to nature is beneficial like on so you know there's


00:29:48,040 --> 00:29:54,520

there's a gazillion studies about it but just go for a walk and yeah pick up a leaf and have a look


00:29:54,520 --> 00:30:00,520

at it or just go to the beach and have a wander you never know what you're going to find so um


00:30:00,520 --> 00:30:09,480

yeah just that just that gentle reminder to be aware and um be connected. Yeah and the noticing


00:30:09,480 --> 00:30:15,480

of things like I've like we're doing this term we're doing a book called um garden stew so it's all


00:30:15,480 --> 00:30:21,240

the ingredients are all things we find in nature and there's this lovely little quokka that's like


00:30:21,240 --> 00:30:26,360

the star of the book who's gathering all these things together so I've been asking my children


00:30:26,360 --> 00:30:31,080

about just things they notice not necessarily at kindy but when they're on their way to kindy or


00:30:31,080 --> 00:30:35,720

at home and some of the things that they share it's like you plant that little seed and then they


00:30:35,720 --> 00:30:39,800

just start that it's like the whole world's open and like oh I noticed this and I noticed that and


00:30:39,800 --> 00:30:45,160

there's a tree in my backyard I never realized it has these different color leaves and it's just so


00:30:45,160 --> 00:30:50,200

I just love that it's just like boom and it all comes and seeing things in a different way and


00:30:50,840 --> 00:30:56,840

yeah yeah I love it that just that's I guess that's the stuff that fills my cup up um yeah


00:30:57,560 --> 00:31:04,680

so yeah I've done I did camp it down last week I'm heading into work with um two Catholic schools


00:31:04,680 --> 00:31:13,080

in Melbourne and then I come home Friday night and then I head off to Ararat for um a week to work


00:31:13,080 --> 00:31:21,880

with students over there again um we're creating a mural and um I guess I just sort of see my role


00:31:21,880 --> 00:31:26,600

as a facilitator the work the work is like their story and their voice I just sort of give them


00:31:27,400 --> 00:31:32,520

literally the tools and a bit of guidance to help create their own story because I think um


00:31:32,520 --> 00:31:37,880

um it's always really important to share your own story but to hear other people's as well


00:31:39,320 --> 00:31:47,000

yeah that's it isn't there's no point going into to a particular area um and you know putting out


00:31:47,000 --> 00:31:52,680

what you you think or what you feel or whatever it's yeah because we are so different and you


00:31:52,680 --> 00:31:56,760

talked about you know these tiny towns like this Warwick and Beale and Camberdown like they're in


00:31:56,760 --> 00:32:02,120

the middle of like literally nowhere you know it's very different to you know say Waterville so


00:32:02,120 --> 00:32:06,760

everyone's got their their own particular stories that relevant to where they are and how they


00:32:06,760 --> 00:32:12,440

experience life yeah absolutely and it's interesting I guess like just going to Warwick and Beale you


00:32:12,440 --> 00:32:18,280

know the pride that these kids have that they're farm kids and you know they grow they grow the


00:32:18,280 --> 00:32:25,480

stuff that helps the rest of us you know each like it yeah they're so proud of that um and even you


00:32:25,480 --> 00:32:30,040

know in Camberdown you know they they all have farms like they're on dairy farms you know that


00:32:30,040 --> 00:32:37,000

they have whole industries and they know so much about it that you know I was like oh well tell me


00:32:37,000 --> 00:32:41,080

you know what what happens here and what happens there and how many times a year do you guys you


00:32:41,080 --> 00:32:46,680

know harvest your crops and yeah and it was just amazing and these little kids at kinder you know


00:32:46,680 --> 00:32:52,200

their parents were bringing in bags of grain and um chickpeas and stuff that they'd grown at their


00:32:52,200 --> 00:32:58,840

house and I was it was fascinating like really fascinating like just to have that okay it goes


00:32:58,840 --> 00:33:06,840

from like a dust bowl out here in Warwick and Beale on their farm to you know like in our food it's


00:33:08,040 --> 00:33:14,600

but kids have made that connection and it's yeah it's amazing just the pride that they have knowing


00:33:14,600 --> 00:33:21,240

that like their family's contributing that they're literally feeding the rest of Australia yeah it's


00:33:21,240 --> 00:33:25,400

pretty massive thing isn't it I guess it's easy to kind of feel forgotten about when you're you know


00:33:25,400 --> 00:33:31,800

you know um living a bit more remotely than other people but yeah that was and we we really


00:33:31,800 --> 00:33:37,880

celebrated that like in my time there that that um you know they they are really contributing and


00:33:39,000 --> 00:33:46,600

like I would love to go back out there and spend some more time um I guess from me personally just


00:33:46,600 --> 00:33:53,800

learning from them I mean I've not grown up in that environment so yeah yeah that's good isn't


00:33:53,800 --> 00:33:58,520

it and I do love that they're so proud and they should be it's it's wonderful and I think actually


00:33:58,520 --> 00:34:03,560

a lot of city people could kind of learn a lot from them about you know your food doesn't just


00:34:03,560 --> 00:34:08,760

appear in a box or in a packet it actually comes from somewhere and from people working hard and


00:34:09,320 --> 00:34:16,120

you know like I said she actually brought me in you know um all the different things that they


00:34:16,120 --> 00:34:20,360

grow on their farm and the kids were like can you take when you go into the city can you take this


00:34:20,360 --> 00:34:25,960

you know to show the kids and I was like yeah absolutely love that yes yeah yeah because it


00:34:25,960 --> 00:34:29,720

was something I can't even remember what it was now but something's in my mind about the number


00:34:29,720 --> 00:34:33,960

of kids that didn't really know where milk came from I don't know if that I'm thinking of an


00:34:33,960 --> 00:34:38,520

American thing or not and it kind of I thought how could you not know where your milk came from


00:34:38,520 --> 00:34:44,280

like to out to me it's just it's obvious but you know maybe it's not that obvious and then


00:34:44,280 --> 00:34:51,080

someone's told you or you've seen it I don't know I don't know it's like you're right and then I


00:34:51,080 --> 00:34:57,160

guess we talked a lot about um you know they're they're growing things they're living off the


00:34:57,160 --> 00:35:03,880

land and I guess then we link that back to you know um like Aboriginal culture like bush tucker


00:35:03,880 --> 00:35:10,360

that we've we've had these things available to us and if we look after country then you know country


00:35:10,360 --> 00:35:16,680

looks after us so it was really nice to explore those two things sort of side by side as well and


00:35:16,680 --> 00:35:25,720

them then sort of understanding that I mean I grew up sort of you know in a really sort of remote


00:35:25,720 --> 00:35:31,560

place and you'd go out like we were on a property at times and you'd go out there and you'd think


00:35:31,560 --> 00:35:36,360

there's nothing out here like nothing grows and then you know you'd go for a little drive in the


00:35:36,360 --> 00:35:41,080

car and there'd be like a few kwangdong trees you know and then like say like there's food there's


00:35:41,080 --> 00:35:46,360

stuff out there if you know about it so yeah you know that's been interesting for me I guess on my


00:35:46,360 --> 00:35:51,880

own personal journey just um like learning about all the different sort of bush tucker and and


00:35:51,880 --> 00:35:57,640

things like that I've always had that interest anyway but um yeah like digging a bit deeper into


00:35:57,640 --> 00:36:10,520

it so it's been great


00:36:27,640 --> 00:36:44,520



00:36:44,520 --> 00:37:00,200

yeah and you mentioned before about um your watercolors that you're making your ochre


00:37:00,200 --> 00:37:05,480

watercolors that would be fascinating too like finding out what color what things make what color


00:37:05,480 --> 00:37:16,600

and that sort of thing yeah and just I guess um like the fascination in how it was made traditionally


00:37:16,600 --> 00:37:21,320

so you know like I go to a school and I'll say to the kids you know what what can you tell me about


00:37:21,320 --> 00:37:25,640

aboriginal art and they'll say you know oh they made paint from rocks and I'm like yeah yeah


00:37:26,280 --> 00:37:29,960

that happened you know so do you know how that happened like oh you know yeah they ground it


00:37:29,960 --> 00:37:35,880

up and they add a bit of water and the second that you tell them that like it needs a binding agent


00:37:35,880 --> 00:37:40,280

you know like it needs to stick together and you and you tell them that you know like traditionally


00:37:40,280 --> 00:37:46,520

we might have used um animal blood or tree sap you know the eyes got bigger sources and you know


00:37:46,520 --> 00:37:54,040

oh how does that happen and you know so just even in exploring like the traditional processes in my


00:37:54,040 --> 00:38:01,320

learning I'm able to then share that with um the kids as well and I went to the Northern Territory


00:38:01,320 --> 00:38:07,960

last year and just was completely fascinated by the rock art and just to know that like that's been


00:38:07,960 --> 00:38:16,440

there for 600 years and that paint that ochre has lasted you know 600 years in a cave yeah and yet


00:38:17,000 --> 00:38:22,360

you know we can go and paint a house and within five years it's faded so yeah it's pretty amazing


00:38:22,360 --> 00:38:28,520

isn't it it's pretty amazing that those just those basic you know elements of nature and you're able


00:38:28,520 --> 00:38:35,080

to create something that lasts you know well beyond our own years and then you've yeah it's amazing


00:38:35,080 --> 00:38:40,280

and I think you know growing up being that collector I've always like yep oh there's a red


00:38:40,280 --> 00:38:45,720

rock or there's a you know that one's white or you know I've always I actually have a collection


00:38:45,720 --> 00:38:54,360

of rocks um probably a bit odd for a 44 I could relate to that too yeah and when you grow up in


00:38:54,360 --> 00:39:00,760

a mining town it's kind of you kind of just yeah it's another it's just a thing yeah it would just


00:39:00,760 --> 00:39:06,360

be part of your of your daily life like just finding interesting rocks it would just you know


00:39:06,360 --> 00:39:15,960

it'd be great yeah I know it's yeah it's weird I quite often laugh that I like just


00:39:16,600 --> 00:39:23,080

innately am like a gatherer and a collector and I think about my ancestors and the women who went


00:39:23,080 --> 00:39:31,320

before me and that was kind of their role as well and it's comforting I guess to know that


00:39:31,320 --> 00:39:36,920

like I'm still doing that and that's going to be passed on in my family as well that yeah just that


00:39:36,920 --> 00:39:43,720

value in nature. Absolutely I love that um I've got a thing like that like with your rocks mine's


00:39:43,720 --> 00:39:50,200

feathers I'm obsessed with feathers and I just oh my oh I just I don't know what it is about and


00:39:50,200 --> 00:39:56,920

whether it's I don't know I like I love birds I think birds are just the most amazing things and


00:39:56,920 --> 00:40:02,040

I have my little favorites that come around to the house and whatever and have a chat with the mag


00:40:02,040 --> 00:40:06,920

pots and things and so I just I don't know it's like you've got this there's this they're so


00:40:06,920 --> 00:40:11,560

unattainable because they can just go you know then they can go wherever they like and they're


00:40:11,560 --> 00:40:16,840

free and to just have a little piece of that is I don't know maybe that's why I like I can hold it


00:40:16,840 --> 00:40:21,080

close to me I don't know it's a funny thing. I know it's a treasure it's a treasure because it's


00:40:21,080 --> 00:40:27,160

a moment in time that's just just that moment I suppose. Yeah yeah and you can't replicate it


00:40:27,160 --> 00:40:35,960

you know as much as I try. And it's interesting like why um you know different different mobs and


00:40:37,000 --> 00:40:43,800

stuff have different um totems and mine is a Willy Wagtail. Ah that's so interesting because


00:40:43,800 --> 00:40:49,640

I've had a Willy Wagtail never before in the last three or four days has been at my front door with


00:40:49,640 --> 00:40:54,920

his beautiful little whistle and I'm like what are you here for like it's still very interesting.


00:40:54,920 --> 00:41:01,800

My family have explained to me that they're messenger birds um so like black and white I


00:41:01,800 --> 00:41:07,080

guess you know good messages bad messages when you when you're a Willy Wagtail you don't have a choice


00:41:07,080 --> 00:41:13,000

to have to share the message whether it's good or bad that's that's kind of your your burden or your


00:41:13,000 --> 00:41:20,840

your role I guess so um yeah just fascinated I love birds as well just fascinated by I guess again


00:41:20,840 --> 00:41:28,760

that's another just a deeper learning that that I've been lucky enough to um have had shared with


00:41:28,760 --> 00:41:34,840

me and yeah. Yeah just on birds just slightly off topic though do you get um carawongs over where


00:41:34,840 --> 00:41:43,720

you are? No we don't we have the most amazing um superb fairy wrens you know the little good ones.


00:41:43,720 --> 00:41:49,880

Yes yes they're divine but it sucks out only the boys get to be beautiful don't they and the little


00:41:49,880 --> 00:41:55,000

girls. Oh I'm just saying with peacocks it's funny oh yes that's so true. I take peacock feathers um


00:41:55,640 --> 00:42:00,360

in my little nature collage kit and I always say to the kids you know so these beautiful ones are


00:42:00,360 --> 00:42:05,640

they the boy ones or the girl ones and the boy and the boys like oh no yeah they're the boy ones


00:42:05,640 --> 00:42:11,720

because they use them to attract the girl ones like yeah they do like you know they show off for


00:42:11,720 --> 00:42:17,720

the ladies and they just get hilarious. Yeah I always find that interesting in nature that the


00:42:17,720 --> 00:42:23,160

boys get to be so bright and exuberant and then the girls are brown it's like hang on a sec.


00:42:25,240 --> 00:42:30,280

I know we're too busy right we're too busy oh I don't know what it is I have to show you


00:42:30,280 --> 00:42:40,040

while we're chatting and you know yeah um my auntie sent me these um oh they're magnificent.


00:42:40,680 --> 00:42:46,840

Yeah are they oh treasures like they are beautiful so yeah I'll share with the listeners


00:42:46,840 --> 00:42:52,040

they're um they're well they're red black what are they called black red black oh you say it.


00:42:52,040 --> 00:43:03,160

Yeah the the cockatoos you know the red tail black cockatoos yes the black ones yes oh they


00:43:03,160 --> 00:43:10,040

are the most amazing birds but they are divine so yeah I'm like oh my god they're a treasure but


00:43:10,040 --> 00:43:15,160

like I want to use them but then like they're too precious you don't want to use them yeah I know


00:43:15,160 --> 00:43:20,040

what you mean yeah I've got one like that but it's the yellow one um we get the yellow tail ones


00:43:20,040 --> 00:43:25,560

they fly yes between because we've got a lot of pine you know pine plantations here and they fly


00:43:25,560 --> 00:43:29,640

between the plantations and every afternoon they come right over the top of my house and there's


00:43:29,640 --> 00:43:35,080

only about four sometimes five and they just call to each other as they're going I'm like oh there


00:43:35,080 --> 00:43:42,280

they go again it's just so special. And every crazy bird people oh I'm sure there's someone


00:43:42,280 --> 00:43:49,160

else listening that gets this isn't there there's got to be. Well I don't know I'll own it anyway


00:43:49,160 --> 00:43:57,320

I have no shame. I don't apologize for it I love it and I tell the kids about it at work and last


00:43:57,320 --> 00:44:03,480

year there was one little girl who just loved cockatoos and I told her that my mum has a pet


00:44:03,480 --> 00:44:10,440

cocky and she ended up just becoming so attached to this bird like I'd bring in photos and videos


00:44:10,440 --> 00:44:15,720

of this bird and I said to mum do you think we could bring her in for a visit and mum's like oh


00:44:15,720 --> 00:44:21,480

I don't think so Alison because she can be quite moody you know she's got a bit of a bite on her


00:44:21,480 --> 00:44:28,040

yes so we decided against that but even yeah this year even though that little girl's going to school


00:44:28,040 --> 00:44:33,720

one of her little friends often asks me how's cocky going it's like it's just so lovely that


00:44:33,720 --> 00:44:38,440

they remember this and because she's got such a personality and in some of the videos she'd just


00:44:38,440 --> 00:44:46,280

do the funniest things and so oh my gosh she's just a cracker she just loves life like that bit


00:44:49,480 --> 00:44:52,520

yes that's what I was about to say I think that's why I like them so much because they


00:44:52,520 --> 00:44:57,960

they do have distinct personalities and they're just they're they're just like people like


00:44:57,960 --> 00:45:01,480

they know what they like and what they don't like and what people they like and what people they


00:45:01,480 --> 00:45:08,760

don't like I love emus as well I think you know growing up I was always like oh they're so


00:45:08,760 --> 00:45:15,880

beautiful and and then you go to tower hill here which is um just outside of warnable and you know


00:45:15,880 --> 00:45:20,680

they're so used to people they sort of come right up to you and you think oh god they're gonna like


00:45:22,680 --> 00:45:26,600

for that second that little bit of fear creeps in and you're like okay I'll just put my hand


00:45:26,600 --> 00:45:33,240

out so that I'm taller than them and that'll scare them away and and then at the same time I'm like


00:45:33,240 --> 00:45:39,720

following them hoping that they might like drop a feather or something I did that recently actually


00:45:39,720 --> 00:45:45,880

it's my son my eldest son Alex he loves emus he's just got this thing for emus wherever we go if he


00:45:45,880 --> 00:45:50,920

sees one he'll just go over to it and just like like obviously this isn't in the wild because


00:45:50,920 --> 00:45:57,400

they run away from us um but yeah like where were we we're on the gold coast recently at the uh


00:45:57,400 --> 00:46:04,200

carowar no what was it called um carumbin burn sanctuary and there was this emu up there and I


00:46:04,200 --> 00:46:09,560

was patting him and I was hoping that one of his beautiful feathers would just fall out conveniently


00:46:09,560 --> 00:46:13,880

accidentally you know I kind of got a hold one I thought no Alison don't do it


00:46:13,880 --> 00:46:20,760

it's like my son's up up at his face and like distracting or like trying to nick


00:46:20,760 --> 00:46:25,640

feathers no that wouldn't have been very kind so no I didn't do that but I did cross my mind


00:46:27,960 --> 00:46:33,640

oh my gosh I'm a forager I'd be too scared I don't take yeah I only take what's what's already


00:46:33,640 --> 00:46:40,600

dropped on the grip yes yes yes no that that's very funny um yeah thanks for indulging my bird


00:46:40,600 --> 00:46:46,840

talk there oh that's okay that's fine I've actually like I've been painting emu feathers like just


00:46:46,840 --> 00:46:56,200

so inspired by them um just the little detail and how fine and soft they are and yeah they're pretty


00:46:56,200 --> 00:47:01,960

amazing like I don't know if people might have to google them but they are incredibly small like


00:47:01,960 --> 00:47:06,920

when like you see this bird but then the like when you take it like they're like ostrich feathers


00:47:06,920 --> 00:47:11,160

kind of where they've got like all the strings but then on the strands they're just so minute


00:47:11,160 --> 00:47:15,880

I know incredible aren't they yep they make them go blind painting them like


00:47:18,760 --> 00:47:25,080

could have picked a simpler feather so and then you know they're okay emu feathers and then dragon


00:47:25,080 --> 00:47:37,960

fly so yeah yeah yeah all those tiny little veins detail it's all about the detail oh goodness


00:47:55,880 --> 00:48:03,560

did you find that after you became a mum that your painting changed like whether the way you


00:48:03,560 --> 00:48:12,440

had to do the work or what inspired you changed after you became a mum well that's a good question


00:48:14,040 --> 00:48:22,840

um I think I don't know my poor kids whenever I do something they're just it's just around them


00:48:22,840 --> 00:48:31,160

like they're just yeah so at the moment like we're in a small townhouse and I've literally got you


00:48:31,160 --> 00:48:36,760

know seven or eight canvases on the go around me so yeah they've always been surrounded by whatever


00:48:37,480 --> 00:48:42,760

um whatever I'm creating so you know whether it's sewing you know when they were


00:48:43,320 --> 00:48:48,120

younger and I was screen printing you know we'd like we would have fun doing it together like


00:48:48,120 --> 00:48:54,920

I feel like that they've always been um involved in some way like and I've


00:48:56,920 --> 00:49:02,280

I've really tried to nurture that in them you know and I guess they're a bit older now and it's not


00:49:02,280 --> 00:49:07,400

really their their thing but that was a really strong connection for us to have like when they


00:49:07,400 --> 00:49:15,320

were younger that we did these things together and they were a part of yeah whatever whatever I was


00:49:15,320 --> 00:49:20,920

doing and even now you know like I'm making the ochre and stuff and Fraser who's 12 you know he'll


00:49:20,920 --> 00:49:28,280

come over and like so what what are you doing you know um yeah I think I just I don't know I think


00:49:28,280 --> 00:49:34,680

again it's that I just have the I just want to share what I'm doing with them like and so then


00:49:36,680 --> 00:49:42,760

yeah they they are a part of it as well um and it's hard when you work from home to separate


00:49:42,760 --> 00:49:49,080

those two things as well um and I've been lucky that I have been able to spend a lot of time in


00:49:49,080 --> 00:49:56,520

my arts practice working at home so yeah um yeah I don't know it's I think it's an inclusive


00:49:57,400 --> 00:50:03,320

sort of style I guess that I've wanted to include them as much as I can in whatever I'm doing


00:50:03,880 --> 00:50:10,760

yeah and teach them as well I mean you know they've they both can sew and they probably could


00:50:10,760 --> 00:50:17,480

whip up a screen print if you reminded them how to do it but you know that's not cool now but you


00:50:17,480 --> 00:50:24,440

know yeah I know what you mean so they'll be able to darn their socks get hold of them


00:50:24,440 --> 00:50:30,680

when after a lot of maybe I don't know I don't know some things might have gone in one ear and


00:50:30,680 --> 00:50:44,440

out the other but anyway skills for life right yeah that's it yeah


00:51:01,000 --> 00:51:07,640

So within that it was there an element of also wanting them to see that their mum can also do


00:51:07,640 --> 00:51:13,000

things that don't involve being their mum so you can do things just for yourself?


00:51:14,280 --> 00:51:19,160

Oh I think we've I think my husband and I have raised our kids to


00:51:21,400 --> 00:51:25,640

want to explore things like whatever it is you know whatever their passions are yep go and have


00:51:25,640 --> 00:51:32,200

a crack you know like if you want to try karate go and go and try it like have your own identity as


00:51:32,200 --> 00:51:38,680

well like you you know home and your family will always be your safe space but don't be scared to


00:51:38,680 --> 00:51:45,000

go out and try other things and I and I think that probably sort of was amplified after Asher died


00:51:45,000 --> 00:51:53,640

like Loki was three and a half when that happened you know so I guess for that that couple of years


00:51:53,640 --> 00:52:04,600

after that I guess like sewing became my grief work that was what I sort of used to help me through


00:52:04,600 --> 00:52:14,760

that time and so it's always been my sort of safe place to come back to and I think my kids just see


00:52:14,760 --> 00:52:21,080

that as my creativity is just part of my identity and you know they're kind of they're not really


00:52:21,080 --> 00:52:30,040

separated yeah but I guess yeah it just comes back to like have a go at something if you want to


00:52:30,680 --> 00:52:33,960

if you want to try it have a go like you don't have anything to lose


00:52:35,160 --> 00:52:39,960

yeah it's great advice isn't it like you said life's short and you just if you want to do


00:52:39,960 --> 00:52:46,840

something just make find a way to do it yeah I mean look I you know I probably in hindsight


00:52:46,840 --> 00:52:51,960

there's probably a few things I maybe should have pondered a little bit more like um you know when


00:52:51,960 --> 00:52:57,160

I had my shop in Broken Hill I started it with like 70 bucks and I was like oh yeah I'll just


00:52:57,160 --> 00:53:03,640

have a shop and you know you know rounded up a few bits of furniture and had a friend make me a bench


00:53:03,640 --> 00:53:09,720

and away we went we sort of you know just yeah you don't have to have the best of everything but you


00:53:10,440 --> 00:53:16,520

you can still try things it's it's not necessarily about you know going out and buying all of the


00:53:16,520 --> 00:53:22,600

stuff for whatever it is it's just having a little taste of everything and and sort of really finding


00:53:24,200 --> 00:53:30,520

what makes you feel content yeah yeah and you can always build on things as you go you don't


00:53:30,520 --> 00:53:36,680

always have to have it all ready to go right at the start yeah yeah and I think also as well just that


00:53:36,680 --> 00:53:44,920

um that creativity is so good for like self-regulation not just for adults but


00:53:44,920 --> 00:53:52,760

for kids as well and I think um you know maybe COVID highlighted that for all of us like we


00:53:52,760 --> 00:54:01,000

we did have that time to slow down and and stop and go slow and take things in um


00:54:03,160 --> 00:54:08,040

yeah I don't know yeah just something I'm throwing out no but that's the thing isn't it when you've


00:54:08,040 --> 00:54:13,240

got time you can actually think about what you enjoy doing and what sort of like you said fills


00:54:13,240 --> 00:54:19,400

you up and makes you feel good and yeah having I think in life we don't get those times unless we


00:54:19,400 --> 00:54:25,480

truly seek them out yeah it's like life just goes and goes and goes and goes um yeah so I think


00:54:25,480 --> 00:54:30,200

yeah it's so important to have something that's yours I really think especially as a mum and even


00:54:30,200 --> 00:54:36,200

in a partnership you know having something that that you know you don't always have to do everything


00:54:36,200 --> 00:54:39,960

with your partner you don't have to share every single interest you can have things that you want


00:54:39,960 --> 00:54:47,640

to do that don't involve anyone else uh my husband's just um started a punk band that oh good for him


00:54:47,640 --> 00:54:53,960

so like he's just you know that's his thing he goes off and does that um I think our kids


00:54:54,920 --> 00:54:59,640

I don't know they they always say to us you know how proud they are that you know like dad's


00:55:00,280 --> 00:55:04,360

dad's got the guts to get up and sing in front of other people whereas I there's no way I


00:55:04,360 --> 00:55:11,960

could do that um but you know being in situations I guess with my um arts practice and


00:55:13,160 --> 00:55:18,120

you know like collabs and different things where it's been quite public my kids are really proud


00:55:18,120 --> 00:55:24,840

of that that I've like put myself out there um and even you know when you do those things sometimes


00:55:24,840 --> 00:55:31,400

like they can be quite challenging as well so I think modeling how you handle that's really


00:55:31,400 --> 00:55:38,680

important as well for your kids you know I think they're always like you know sunshine and lollipops


00:55:38,680 --> 00:55:44,520

and you've got to learn to navigate the hard things as well yes that that's it isn't it if


00:55:44,520 --> 00:55:49,160

they're not just seeing the outcome if it's all positive that's great but they're actually seeing


00:55:49,160 --> 00:55:54,360

the process and you know working through things like you said if things aren't quite going how


00:55:54,360 --> 00:55:59,080

you expect how you deal with that and that's that's so important because as we know kids


00:55:59,080 --> 00:56:04,440

they learn from what they see you're not necessarily what you tell them so very true


00:56:04,440 --> 00:56:27,400



00:56:27,400 --> 00:56:37,480

One of the things I like to talk to all my guests about is this concept of mum guilt


00:56:37,480 --> 00:56:42,680

and I put that in air quotes because it's such a contrived term, like it's a term that's


00:56:42,680 --> 00:56:54,120

been made up, I think, by Western society. Do you have any thoughts on mum guilt?


00:56:54,120 --> 00:57:05,440

It's almost palpable at times for me, just that, I don't know, I guess in the last couple


00:57:05,440 --> 00:57:11,760

of years I've really like travelled a lot for work and I've been away and last year


00:57:11,760 --> 00:57:16,480

I was away a lot while Lockie was doing Year 12 and I sort of thought, oh I really need


00:57:16,480 --> 00:57:24,320

to be at home more. But then I was really proud of him because he was able to achieve


00:57:24,320 --> 00:57:29,800

great things even when I wasn't there, I mean, I wasn't physically here, I was obviously


00:57:29,800 --> 00:57:36,240

like calling and all that sort of stuff. But yeah, I do find it really tricky to have that


00:57:36,240 --> 00:57:44,400

balance where you're giving everyone enough of yourself and then still filling your own


00:57:44,400 --> 00:57:51,840

cup up. So yeah, I do feel like I get pulled in a lot of different directions quite often


00:57:51,840 --> 00:57:58,240

and I know my kids are proud of me for going out there and doing things but then I guess


00:57:58,240 --> 00:58:03,440

it's something that I put on myself, that I have that, oh I should be at home. But then


00:58:03,440 --> 00:58:10,320

I don't, I've never had that traditional sense that I need to be a homemaker either, that's


00:58:10,320 --> 00:58:20,360

not part of my life that I've sort of, I don't know, wanted to explore. Like I love being


00:58:20,360 --> 00:58:25,820

at home and I am a real homebody when I'm at home but I also love getting out and like


00:58:25,820 --> 00:58:32,320

experiencing new things. But even when I've been able to do that, I guess like last year


00:58:32,320 --> 00:58:35,160

I said I went to the Northern Territory, I would have loved for my kids to have been


00:58:35,160 --> 00:58:44,240

there and so yeah, I don't know, it's a tricky thing. I don't know if it's something that


00:58:44,240 --> 00:58:50,680

I like let anyone else sort of put on me but I certainly feel a bit torn at times, you


00:58:50,680 --> 00:58:55,360

know, am I spending too much time away or am I home enough or yeah.


00:58:55,360 --> 00:59:00,920

Yeah, that is something that someone said the other day, those exact words, it's not


00:59:00,920 --> 00:59:07,280

something anyone else is putting on me, that's me saying this stuff. And it's like then it


00:59:07,280 --> 00:59:11,400

makes it tricky then because it's like it's up to you to try and not think that stuff,


00:59:11,400 --> 00:59:13,920

you know, it's challenging.


00:59:13,920 --> 00:59:22,160

It really is but you know, we're lucky now in that you know, like our kids have phones,


00:59:22,160 --> 00:59:28,200

you know, you can always just give them a ring, your FaceTime or whatever and you know,


00:59:28,200 --> 00:59:35,160

you can maintain that connection I suppose that maybe you couldn't have a few years ago.


00:59:35,160 --> 00:59:36,680

Yeah, that's so true.


00:59:36,680 --> 00:59:44,920

It's easier to stay in touch and I think I made a very conscious decision like this year


00:59:44,920 --> 00:59:49,080

to wherever I can involve my family a bit more in, you know, if I'm travelling into


00:59:49,080 --> 00:59:53,200

Melbourne or whatever and if I'm in there for a couple of weeks like the boys come in


00:59:53,200 --> 00:59:59,600

and we go to the footy or something so you know, it's that balance of doing things together.


00:59:59,600 --> 01:00:07,000

Yeah, that's it isn't it? Because it's like, I guess you probably, fair to say like it's


01:00:07,000 --> 01:00:12,160

you couldn't give up that part of your life because then the rest of your life would suffer.


01:00:12,160 --> 01:00:16,240

You know, you couldn't give up your artistic endeavours because then you wouldn't be the


01:00:16,240 --> 01:00:17,240

person that you are.


01:00:17,240 --> 01:00:25,280

I'd be miserable. When we first moved here, you know, everything was in storage because


01:00:25,280 --> 01:00:29,280

we were waiting like we had a little unit and then we were waiting to move into our


01:00:29,280 --> 01:00:34,200

house and everything was in storage and I reckon it was about almost a year later and


01:00:34,200 --> 01:00:40,960

I got my sewing machine out and I just had that huge like reminder of, oh, I have missed


01:00:40,960 --> 01:00:44,200

this so much, you know?


01:00:44,200 --> 01:00:51,600

And I felt like my old self again. Yeah, like, yeah, it's weird that just doing that thing


01:00:51,600 --> 01:00:56,880

that's always been there and that creativity just made me feel like me again. I felt like


01:00:56,880 --> 01:00:57,880

I'd been missing.


01:00:57,880 --> 01:01:03,680

Yeah, yeah, absolutely can relate to that. Yeah. I think that's a pretty common thing


01:01:03,680 --> 01:01:09,760

that people I chat to, it's like it's just an integral part of who they are.


01:01:09,760 --> 01:01:14,200

Yeah, you can't separate. I don't think you can separate it when you're a creative. I


01:01:14,200 --> 01:01:16,720

don't think there is that separation.


01:01:16,720 --> 01:01:22,840

Yeah, which makes mothering all the more difficult. You know, it's like you've got half your brains


01:01:22,840 --> 01:01:27,560

in mum mode and half your brains in art mode and they cross over and then, you know, one


01:01:27,560 --> 01:01:29,560

takes over and the other one takes over.


01:01:29,560 --> 01:01:33,920

Yeah, and that takes over your whole house as well when you have no room and you're painting


01:01:33,920 --> 01:01:38,400

on the kitchen floor and I can't remember the last time we actually sat around our kitchen


01:01:38,400 --> 01:01:43,240

table. Yeah, we ate a meal together because like it's covered, like it's literally covered


01:01:43,240 --> 01:01:49,040

in paint brushes and paint and yeah, I've got canvases all over the place and, you know,


01:01:49,040 --> 01:01:53,920

they just walk around stuff now. It's not even like, are you going to clean this stuff


01:01:53,920 --> 01:01:58,800

up mum? It's just like, oh yeah, we'll just step over the canvas and moving right along.


01:01:58,800 --> 01:02:00,800

Yeah, that's it.


01:02:00,800 --> 01:02:06,200

But it's not like, you know, when Fraser gets home from school, I usually like stop


01:02:06,200 --> 01:02:12,920

for an hour or so just to, you know, wind down with him and yeah, like Lachie's studying


01:02:12,920 --> 01:02:18,760

from home. So, you know, when he comes up and has lunch and stuff, you know, just yeah,


01:02:18,760 --> 01:02:23,560

being at home and touching it, touching base and you know, checking in on how he's going


01:02:23,560 --> 01:02:29,800

and stuff. So yeah, it's, I'm very lucky to work from home. Yeah, I feel very lucky to


01:02:29,800 --> 01:02:30,800

have that experience.


01:02:30,800 --> 01:02:36,040

Yeah, yeah. No, that is nice, isn't it? It does make it tricky that I've talked to people


01:02:36,040 --> 01:02:40,240

who work from home. It's like they're in the middle of painting and they might hear the


01:02:40,240 --> 01:02:44,680

dishwasher stop or the beef of the washing machine. They're like, oh, I better just do


01:02:44,680 --> 01:02:48,040

that. And then it turns into, oh, I better just do this and better just do this. And


01:02:48,040 --> 01:02:53,160

then it just rolls on me like, oh, that's right. I was meant to be doing my painting.


01:02:53,160 --> 01:03:00,320

What's the opposite in my house? I start painting, I become obsessed and then it's like, oh,


01:03:00,320 --> 01:03:04,960

we're out of clean undies guys. Hang on, I'll have to quickly do a couple of loads of washing


01:03:04,960 --> 01:03:14,440

and you know, like, oh, just that tidying, you know, like I get so, I'm just so into


01:03:14,440 --> 01:03:18,920

like my artwork. What you're doing. Yeah. And I'm, you know, I'm so lucky my husband


01:03:18,920 --> 01:03:23,840

does the cooking and so, you know, I don't, I kind of don't have to stop. So I guess the


01:03:23,840 --> 01:03:31,800

tricky thing in that really is that it's hard for me to know when to clock off and actually


01:03:31,800 --> 01:03:37,720

just tools down for the day and separate work from, you know, just chilling out at home.


01:03:37,720 --> 01:03:42,320

Yeah. Just sitting here, it'll be like, oh, well, I'll just do another coat on that or,


01:03:42,320 --> 01:03:47,320

you know, add a little bit here and then, yeah. And it's, oh, it's time to go to bed.


01:03:47,320 --> 01:03:54,320

Oh, sorry. I haven't actually talked to my family tonight. Sorry guys. Oh dear. So is


01:03:54,320 --> 01:03:58,240

that pretty common that you'll have like so many different ones on the go at once? Is


01:03:58,240 --> 01:04:04,120

that sort of how you like to work? Yeah, I think that's just how my brain works. And


01:04:04,120 --> 01:04:14,080

also like there's so many layers to Aboriginal art. So, you know, I might have a base coat


01:04:14,080 --> 01:04:19,920

on this one happening and then be blocking in things on the next one. And, you know,


01:04:19,920 --> 01:04:27,000

then you've got to wait for the things to dry in between. And like, I might have, you


01:04:27,000 --> 01:04:32,680

know, works happening for a show and then a commission piece as well. And then I'm like,


01:04:32,680 --> 01:04:38,000

like I said, I'm trying out different ochre. So I'm like, I just, yeah. And then I'll have


01:04:38,000 --> 01:04:41,760

a little play, like a little like reward, I suppose, you know, like I've worked really


01:04:41,760 --> 01:04:46,760

hard on this one and now I just want to have a play. And I think that's really important


01:04:46,760 --> 01:04:53,760

to give myself that time to just like mess around and not, because when it's your full


01:04:53,760 --> 01:04:58,960

time job, I don't ever want it to feel like a job. And I'm lucky that it doesn't because


01:04:58,960 --> 01:05:05,360

I absolutely like, I'm just so lucky to be doing what I do every day. But then I, yeah,


01:05:05,360 --> 01:05:10,800

I don't want it to get stale. So yeah, yeah. It's important to have those times we almost


01:05:10,800 --> 01:05:15,240

like that curiosity of, well, what happens, what happens, you know, messing around, like


01:05:15,240 --> 01:05:20,760

you said, about all the different things you like to do. It's like, that keeps you fresh.


01:05:20,760 --> 01:05:26,520

That keeps you going. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Yeah. And just like talking to other, talking


01:05:26,520 --> 01:05:32,860

to people, you know, when I go and do a weaving workshop or something, like just that connection


01:05:32,860 --> 01:05:36,520

that you have with other people and hearing about their life experiences as well. I think


01:05:36,520 --> 01:05:44,160

that's like, that's amazing that I get to do that. And I, yeah, I just feel really grateful


01:05:44,160 --> 01:05:52,960

that people are willing to share their experiences as well. Yeah. Yeah. It's that, I guess that


01:05:52,960 --> 01:05:58,680

connection. Like I've grown up in a massive family and like my mum has six sisters and


01:05:58,680 --> 01:06:02,720

a brother, you know, so there was heaps of aunties and uncles, heaps of cousins, and


01:06:02,720 --> 01:06:07,600

you had to sort of be loud to be heard. So it's nice when you go and work in a small


01:06:07,600 --> 01:06:12,720

group and everyone sort of, you know, gets their little moment to share and... Yeah.


01:06:12,720 --> 01:06:17,480

You're not competing with the airtime. I'm very, I can be very loud. I'm very aware


01:06:17,480 --> 01:06:22,320

that I can be very loud. So, all right. Just need to tone it down a little bit. Well, that's


01:06:22,320 --> 01:06:52,240

funny. Yes. So you mentioned some things you're working on. Do you have anything


01:06:52,240 --> 01:06:57,840

specific coming up that you're working towards? Like anything you want to mention that's coming


01:06:57,840 --> 01:07:02,960

up in the near future? I have a few projects on the go, but I can't, I'm not allowed to


01:07:02,960 --> 01:07:12,480

talk about them. Yeah. And they're like, they're amazing things, amazing opportunities. And


01:07:12,480 --> 01:07:20,840

I just pinch myself, you know, I'm this chick from the bush, like just, it blows my mind


01:07:20,840 --> 01:07:30,080

often that I, I'm in the situation that I'm in. And so, you know, to be like working with


01:07:30,080 --> 01:07:36,280

companies like Maya, you know, like to have my work in their shops, like nationally, like


01:07:36,280 --> 01:07:45,240

that's just pinch me stuff. And like that just, yeah, it still just blows my mind. And


01:07:45,240 --> 01:07:51,280

working with, you know, like the South Side Flyers, the women's basketball team, you know,


01:07:51,280 --> 01:07:57,680

I was so grateful to go and spend a week with them in Tassie last year for the indigenous


01:07:57,680 --> 01:08:03,920

round, you know, design their Jersey and had such a strong connection with them. And just


01:08:03,920 --> 01:08:11,040

spending that time, it's like, like, I never would have dreamed of this when I was a kid,


01:08:11,040 --> 01:08:23,240

but I could be, yeah, living this amazing life and meeting really interesting people.


01:08:23,240 --> 01:08:30,280

And I guess connecting with other women who are doing the same sort of thing, and then


01:08:30,280 --> 01:08:35,160

just the experience of the flyers, like these are young female professional athletes and


01:08:35,160 --> 01:08:42,400

learning that, you know, the disparity in their pay rate, what the men earn and, you


01:08:42,400 --> 01:08:48,680

know, I'm not a raving feminist, but, you know, just little things like that, I guess


01:08:48,680 --> 01:08:53,720

it's an eye opener and you don't pay much attention to it until you get to see it up


01:08:53,720 --> 01:09:00,520

close and personal, like how hard they work and all that sort of stuff. So, yeah, I love,


01:09:00,520 --> 01:09:09,080

I love that there's an element of like, being able to support other women in what I do and


01:09:09,080 --> 01:09:17,000

being a role model for young girls as well to just to have a go at things and don't let


01:09:17,000 --> 01:09:25,460

your own self like hold you back because we do that all the time. And I think that's something


01:09:25,460 --> 01:09:32,520

that has frustrated me about myself for a lot of years, like my own insecurities, I


01:09:32,520 --> 01:09:38,720

don't think I can do that. So yeah, I think just, but you know, that comes with age, doesn't


01:09:38,720 --> 01:09:39,720



01:09:39,720 --> 01:09:41,720

Oh, absolutely. Oh, yeah.


01:09:41,720 --> 01:09:44,960

Eventually get to that stage where you're like, no, I'm just going to do what I want


01:09:44,960 --> 01:09:45,960

to do.


01:09:45,960 --> 01:09:50,920

Yeah, I feel like in your 40s, you literally don't give a toss. You're just going to do


01:09:50,920 --> 01:09:54,260

what you want. You don't care what people think anymore. You know, you've gone through


01:09:54,260 --> 01:10:00,240

those years of worrying what, what people's judgment is going to be like, nah, I'm just


01:10:00,240 --> 01:10:01,240

going to do stuff.


01:10:01,240 --> 01:10:08,600

Yeah, for sure. Yep, absolutely. That's yeah. I don't know. So I guess in terms of projects


01:10:08,600 --> 01:10:16,320

coming up, yeah, I've got lots of schoolwork that I'm really excited about. I've got a


01:10:16,320 --> 01:10:24,440

trip to the Northern Territory for early childhood education, which like that's amazing just


01:10:24,440 --> 01:10:30,600

to connect with other educators and hear, hear about different things that they're doing.


01:10:30,600 --> 01:10:39,200

I've been quietly working away, I guess at some early childhood resources as well. Like


01:10:39,200 --> 01:10:44,800

your inner service, things that I would want to use. And I'm like, oh, they don't, it's


01:10:44,800 --> 01:10:50,160

not here. So, you know, how can I create something that will fill that space?


01:10:50,160 --> 01:10:51,160

That's exciting.


01:10:51,160 --> 01:10:55,360

Yeah. The other stuff I can't really talk about.


01:10:55,360 --> 01:11:01,280

That's all right. Damn it. We understand. You just have to keep an eye on your, on Instagram


01:11:01,280 --> 01:11:02,720

or Facebook. Where are you most active?


01:11:02,720 --> 01:11:06,560

Yeah, I'm on all of those things. On the socials.


01:11:06,560 --> 01:11:13,440

Yeah, beautiful. I'll put links in the show notes of your, all your socials and things


01:11:13,440 --> 01:11:15,120

so people can find you.


01:11:15,120 --> 01:11:20,320

But I have got my work in some galleries around the place, which is like, I'm really lucky


01:11:20,320 --> 01:11:24,600

to have their support and their sort of promotion as well. And then yeah, I sort of have my


01:11:24,600 --> 01:11:29,000

print work and all that sort of stuff through my website. But I guess the big thing at the


01:11:29,000 --> 01:11:37,440

moment is yeah, launching my fabric. So I was, that's a childhood dream and that sort


01:11:37,440 --> 01:11:38,440

of happening and


01:11:38,440 --> 01:11:40,440

Yeah, that's fantastic.


01:11:40,440 --> 01:11:50,920

Wow, there's a lot to learn. And being, you know, very environmentally conscious and,


01:11:50,920 --> 01:11:54,920

you know, wanting to know the supply chain and all of that sort of stuff. So that's been


01:11:54,920 --> 01:12:03,080

a very steep learning curve. Just, yeah, huge loads of information that you have to try


01:12:03,080 --> 01:12:08,640

and absorb and then work out which direction you want to go in. But gee, it's like, it's


01:12:08,640 --> 01:12:13,480

a, it's a whole feeling when you wear something that you have designed yourself like that's


01:12:13,480 --> 01:12:14,480



01:12:14,480 --> 01:12:17,000

Yeah, that'd be, that'd just about top it off, wouldn't it? That'd just be the best.


01:12:17,000 --> 01:12:21,680

And I think, you know, having that, like watching my nan sew with all those beautiful fabrics


01:12:21,680 --> 01:12:25,600

all those years ago is just kind of stuck with me that like that's something I always


01:12:25,600 --> 01:12:30,800

wanted to do. And now I've realised that it's like, wow, that's actually happening.


01:12:30,800 --> 01:12:36,560

Oh, congratulations. That is exciting. So that people can see that through your website


01:12:36,560 --> 01:12:37,560

as well. That's all


01:12:37,560 --> 01:12:38,560

Yeah, yeah.


01:12:38,560 --> 01:12:43,360

And they're beautiful. That's awesome. No, thank you. It's been lovely to chat with you.


01:12:43,360 --> 01:12:44,360

Thanks for coming on.


01:12:44,360 --> 01:12:50,400

Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Yeah, I love your work.


01:12:50,400 --> 01:12:55,480

Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving


01:12:55,480 --> 01:13:01,000

us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend


01:13:01,000 --> 01:13:07,120

you think might be interested. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast,


01:13:07,120 --> 01:13:11,680

please get in touch with us by the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next


01:13:11,680 --> 01:13:40,240

week for another chat with an artistic mom.


01:14:11,680 --> 01:14:33,840

I don't know what's on the weekend, even though wanting a rebrand, kicking it up on the rampage.


01:14:33,840 --> 01:14:54,660

And the


01:14:54,660 --> 01:14:58,660

Collect all this gold energy


01:14:59,660 --> 01:15:05,660

Boil my energy, as I press the gold energy


01:15:05,660 --> 01:15:09,660

Collect all this gold energy


01:15:09,660 --> 01:15:13,660

Collect all this gold energy


01:15:13,660 --> 01:15:28,660

Collect all this gold energy


01:15:28,660 --> 01:15:43,660

Collect all this gold energy

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