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Tiddas, Mothers, Aunties: First Nations Matriarchies

 ‘Love is action in our communities. Love is thinking outside of yourself. Love is questioning if I do this thing or if I take this thing or if I say that thing, who am I going to support? Who am I going to harm? What am I feeding and what am I starving? And I think the older I get and the more spaces I get access to, the more I really believe with my whole chest that our communities do it best.’ – Amy Thunig

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In this panel event, voices from different generations and First Nations backgrounds came together to explore First Nations community and family networks, and how they relate to conceptions of motherhood, parenting and the transmission of First Nations knowledge systems.

Ali Cobby Eckermann is the Windham Campbell Prize-winning author of memoir, poetry and verse novels, including Inside My Mother, and a survivor of the Stolen Generations. Dr Jackie Huggins’ decades of work as an author, historian and academic have focused on First Nations identity, activism and the question of feminism’s relevance for Indigenous women. An education academic and frequent media commentator, Dr Amy Thunig’s forthcoming memoir Tell Me Again explores the shaping of identity amidst intergenerational trauma and poverty – and deep familial love.

For this wide-ranging conversation in partnership with Blak and Bright, they joined host Bridget Caldwell-Bright for an insightful conversation about the women they have known, loved and learned from, and the women they are. The event opened with a Yarn Bomb from emerging Kamilaroi artist Emily Wells.



Presented in partnership with Blak and Bright.

Featured music is City Phases by John Abbot

This event was recorded on Monday 7 November 2022 as part of the Wheeler Centre’s Spring Fling: A Short Series of Big Ideas program. Spring Fling was supported by the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund, a Victorian Government and City of Melbourne partnership.


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.