‘We learn from each other’
WHEN Eileen Alberts was recently presented with the Aboriginal Health Award from Rural Workforce Agency Victoria, little could that organisation have realised how her work mirrored her life.
Ms Alberts is a mentor at Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation and a cultural educator for Murray City Country Coast GP Training, which promotes indigenous cultural awareness among general practitioners in western Victoria.
It’s just one of many initiatives that Ms Alberts has been involved in – broadly speaking, education, health and native title have been the areas – and they have tended to overlap.
But it all goes back to her childhood.
One of six children, her parents were Hank Alberts and Eileen Ayres.
“They met at a singing competition and married in the early 1950s,” Ms Alberts said.
“Mum was of English descent and Dad was Gunditjmara. It was one of the first mixed marriages down this way.”
The way of life they wanted to follow was up to the children, and the decisions not as clear-cut as they might seem.
“We walked that very fine line between home life and school life,” Ms Alberts said.