Kombumerri Traditional Custodian Contributor: Uncle Graham Dillon OAM

This resource is related to the following Learning Areas –

And responds to the following Enquiry Questions –

Q8.Well-known Kombumerri people past and present.
Q71.Hygiene – how did Indigenous people manage hygiene?

Resource transcript –

And, I can talk quite humbly with first-hand experience as a jajumm, as a little fella growing up… There was a pattern there and a system with families and almost to a man or to a person the system of family raising. It was right across the board with my aunties and uncles and it all went back to my grandmother and possibly my great grandmother, Warru. The roles of the parents, beyond shadow of doubt, was never questioned. It was a discipline but it was a discipline tempered with love, with the yugapeh love. It was tempered with love. And, so, when you have a disciplined family, it doesn’t dysfunction and that’s the most important thing and if we look today, we’ll find that without discipline in the family dysfunction will come into it. Aboriginal way, no. When an order is ask for or given or advice you obey and you don’t say, “Why?” No. I remember quite clearly as a jajumm growing up and this is an important factor with regard to the maturity or maturing or developing of a child. We lived along the riverbank, Ngarang-wal, and Gardiner creek was an offshoot of Ngarang-wal, Nerang. My aunty and uncle lived right down the end of Gardiner creek and I spent lots and lots of time down there and when I’d go home of an afternoon, my mother, my lovely mother, used to say, “Oh, you’re home, are you? Ah, I think we’ll call you Graham Graham.” It was Graham Dillon, Uncle Graham. And, so, one got used to the love and affection that came from the family, external and when I say external that means aunties and uncles and it’s like as if there you had a second home. No problems and that function factor with regards to raising families, it was there. It was a given. And, when there was a problem, whether it was a family problem, domestic, or whether it was something at school, one would take it back home. You’d ask your mother, you ask your father and if you weren’t quite sure of the outcomes or the results of that problem, if you’re down there with your aunty or your uncle down the end of the street and you happen to mention it, they’d be there to assist. So, there was a support mechanism from your aunties and uncles within the whole rank of the families. There was never any problem. And, as regards… may I say this? There was no rebellion. At school, growing up at school elatedly after World War 2, it was a different kettle of fish then. There was… I suppose rebellion is bit of a hard word but it was a time of questioning and in those days, when I was doing my early prep schools, a lot of the children used to say, “but, why? Why? Why? Why have we got to do this? Why have we got to do that? Aw, this is too hard.” That never happened when we were growing up Aboriginal style. It was all about respect for your Elders. At the end of the day, what was it all about? Respect and obedience.