Meredith Arkwookerum

Background Info

Date of Birth: 19/03/1958

Totem: -

Language: -

Clan: Kugu

Biography

I was born in Aurukun mission days. I was forced to grow up in a dormitory. Religious Presbyterians ran the dormitory, church and town. In those days people were still coming out form the  bush to live here. The last family groups to came out so their children could get an education. I remember two missionaries now deceased called Uki Otomorathan and his wife Acrhiwald. They were kind local people helping with his minister and his wife. During school breaks my grandparents would take us walk about in country. My grand parents when I was little. We always had a boss in the dormitories tell. ing us what we needed to do. I left high school and went to work in old mission office. I helped administrate payments to elders and the like. Worked for Aurukun Community Incorporate. I worked at checkout in the shop. I eventually went to work as teacher aide in Aurukun and in Pormpuraaw. I have one daughter. 

I love dancing. My father was a clan leader for the Wanam clan group. My father was an important man and traveling to Fiji and other places performing traditional dance. Here he got to dance with other groups from Northern Territory. My father taught me to dance. When I am dancing I am happy and proud with honour.

Art brings me happiness. It is my cultural identity; where I belong. Art making keeps my mind occupied and relaxed. It makes me think and make decisions.

I like the coming to our art centre to work with other artists and share our ideas be supportive of each other work as a team. Working in an appropriate cultural way with respect, loving, care and sharing.

Knowledge from our generation on to the next.