Aunty Priscilla Reid-Loynes
Our feature profile for this week is Walgan (aunty) Priscilla Reid-Loynes, a Gamilaroi/Yularoi yinarr (woman) from Walgett, north-west NSW.
Currently residing on Cammeraygal Country, after living away on Wurundjeri, Noongar Boodjar, Boonwurrung and Ngunnawal Country for the last 17 years, Walgan Priscilla is an early childhood and primary teacher working as an Indigenous Education Consultant. She provides consultancy, cultural workshops and Indigenous wellness sessions to early learning centres, primary schools, high schools and community organisations. Walgan Priscilla focusses on learning with Aboriginal worldviews, knowledge, pedagogy and curriculum within early childhood and primary education. She was and continues to be the lead education consultant of the Australian Council for Educational Research’s team in the development of 2017 children animation program aired on NITV, Little J and Big Cuz.
For Walgan Priscilla, the theme, ‘Because of her, we can’ is about honouring and respecting all of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. She sees this year’s NAIDOC theme as valuing the different roles women play in our communities and promoting an understanding that one role is just as important as the women who may stand next to them, the women who came before them and the young women who will continue thereafter.
Walgan Priscilla says that she always looks up to the Elders in her community; namely her mother and her mother’s sisters. She was brought up knowing her grandmother’s sisters to be her grandmothers; and so has continued years later to know her mother’s sisters as her mothers. Walgan Priscilla raised her two children to know her bawaa (sister), Katrina Reid, as a mother. It is these relationships, alongside her ties with tiddas and children from the many communities where she has resided, that she draws strength. Walgan Priscilla looks to how these women continue to work and live every day, supporting and nurturing our families to grow strong.
The overarching theme of ‘Because of her, we can’ also delves into our relationship as women with the Earth. In Gamilaraary Yuwalaraary, Earth is known as gunimaa, Mother Earth. Walgan Priscilla hopes that our connection as women to gunimaa continues to be strong, valued and understood to come with the responsibility for all of us to maintain our relationship between ourselves and gunimaa. We only have one Earth and we thus we all have a shared responsibility to be stewards of this place.
Thank you for all that you do Walgan Priscilla. Because of you, we can!