A goodbye message from Larry Brandy as he leaves IAHA to follow his passion
Larry Brandy, IAHA’s much loved Membership Officer, will be leaving IAHA on 7 October 2015 to follow his passion – storytelling. Here is a message from Larry to you all…
“Hi Everyone, I joined IAHA as the Membership Officer in 2013 to help support and grow the membership. I felt with my style that I could relate to people of all ages and nations. My first role was to contact universities around the country, to introduce myself and to find out where allied health students are studying. Also I needed to make networks with appropriate staff in these unis.
During my three years, I had travelled to many places, mainly expos and universities. This was not easy, as I am a nervous flyer. If you need a laugh contact staff members (especially Judy Bell) and they will tell you how ridiculous I am/was. I received silver membership from Qantas in my first year with IAHA. None of the staff had any sympathy for me. They just said to me they would not sit with me, because I was too nervous and jumpy. When you have a fear it is really hard to get rid of it.
I have meet many wonderful people on my travels with IAHA, and one of the most rewarding times that still sits with me, was when we first set up the SRC in 2014. These students were so passionate to work with IAHA to help grow the membership, it was just wonderful. You beautiful students are a credit to yourselves your family and also to the IAHA family and the Indigenous community of Australia. It is a privilege to know you and our future looks great with talent like you guys.
Also to all of the other students and graduates I have met over the years through IAHA, may your dreams come true and I sincerely wish for you all to have a wonderful life, doing what you love best.
I just want to let you know a little bit about myself and my journey until now and why I am taking another direction.
In 1990, I worked for the Wiradjuri Regional Aboriginal Land Council in Wagga Wagga as a Field Officer. Also with me was the Senior Field Officer, Roley Williams, a Wiradjuri man from Narrandera NSW with a lot of cultural knowledge. From 1990 to 1994, on a regular basis, Roley and myself would travel out into Wiradjuri country doing site surveys with archaeologists when requested. This was fascinating for me, as when I picked up my first stone axe (no idea) until I asked people, this fascinated me about my culture and I wanted to learn more.
I grew up not knowing much at all about my culture. I would ask plenty of questions to the archaeologist when out surveying, and to Roley on our long drive getting there and then back home. Roley was such a great teacher to me, he had great knowledge, plus patience. I became very passionate about learning my culture and passing it on in a positive manner to people of all cultures. Whilst still working at the land council, Roley would be invited out to schools to talk about Wiradjuri culture. I would be with him, and eventually he would have me presenting Wiradjuri culture to school kids as well.
I eventually became a storyteller and have been doing this as a second job for quite a few years. In July this year, I went part time with IAHA to do my storytelling. Just lately I have been getting lots of bookings from pre-schools and primary schools, and it is hard to juggle both my work commitments with my passion of storytelling. I thoroughly enjoy doing my storytelling. We need to let people know that we come from one of the oldest cultures in the world and we had and still have a wonderful culture to tell the world about.
This year, with support from IAHA, I started to learn Wiradjuri. To learn my language as a mature Wiradjuri man, after so many years just makes for a wonderful feeling. I feel that it has given me back more of my identity, and I now feel more closely connected to my Wiradjuri mob. It makes me feel proud to gain something very important that was almost lost because of ignorance and racist attitudes in this country. It has also helped to improve my self-esteem and confidence about my culture, especially when I am around people who have the same interest.
This is also important for me because as an Aboriginal storyteller I am able to include some language in my performance. My storytelling is about sharing my Wiradjuri culture with people of all backgrounds, and being able to share a small bit of my language is wonderful.
By learning our language this can help with employment of Wiradjuri people by having more Wiradjuri teachers in universities, schools, TAFE, plus the community who can teach the language. By learning our language, we also learn about our culture. As more and more Wiradjuri people learn their language this helps bring us together in a positive way.
I have learnt a lot in my time here. I am a bit nervous about how my next adventure will turn out but I think it is important in life that we try to follow our passion. I would like to wish you all every success in your careers and be happy in what you do.
I will miss you all. Feel free to like me on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/Larry-Brandy-Aboriginal-storyteller/134185669970209?ref=hl or check out my website http://aboriginalstoryteller.webs.com.
(later-you speak) in Wiradjuri Language”
September 25, 2015
Categories: IAHA News
Posted by: IAHA