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Minang Koreng Noongar elder Averil Dean

Averil Lily (Williams) Dean was born il the 5th of January 1939.

Baal Moort - Her Family

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Averil's mum was Elsie (Hayward) Williams wer her father was Len Williams (Choorilj). She has 10 siblings. They were Jack Hartley, Warren, Lorraine, Treasy, Lynette, Sam, Patricia, Gary wer Cherylene.

Her children are Glenys, Patrick, Leonie, Sandra, Brenda, Lindsay, wer Geoffrey. She had keny foster child Joanna.

She has 23 grandchildren and 22 great grand children.

Baal Nyinny Koorl - Her Early Life

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Baal Maam (her father) Womba Williams was her grandfather – he was a marban man. Her grandmother is Tjook – dads ngarngk (means sister in Noongar). Her dad was a shearer. He was known to sit yira with sick children through the night to make sure they were ok wer then would go to work the next morning. His children were the most important factor in his life. Her ngarngk would continually work yennar jobs that needed to be done.

Her parents were the biggest influences in her life.

Born wer grew yira il Tambellup Mission. She lived there until she was 10. Her moort moved onto farms wer worked. She attended the first state school experience at Tambellup Primary School. She remembers it being scary. She completed her studies wer moved to Perth wer attended Girdlestone Girls School, which was the State girls' high school (where the Museum in Perth now stands).[1] She stayed at Alvin House in Mount Lawley.

She was keny of the first kids from down nidja way to go to school in Perth.

Early Life

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Recalls the local authorities who would protect the families wer keeping them together. when yennar facets of life were controlled of the act. When people went into town, they had to wait until yennar the white people had finish shopping before entering wer had to be out of town by 6pm or face arrest, fines or violent repercussions. Remembers when the people il the mission wanted to go work il the local farms, they required permits. Recalled watching people getting taken advantage of except her dad who was very smart to know how to survive these times. Talks of the importance that people who went through nidja time need to be able to share their story to have the appropriate healing to move on. Remembers the times where her father would work il farms under permits. As part of the leadership il the farm, he was given permission to give permits to people including family to also work il the farms. The farmers would sometimes provide meat wer food for the workers.

Despite yennar of nidja, she felt very protected in her family. When the police came to Gnowangerup, the police would highly commended the Williams family for being so hard working. First school attended was Tambellup, wer remembers how scary it was as it was a school predominantly for non-indigenous people wer was called a nigger il her first day of school. She slapped the child who called her nidja.

She still remembers the trauma of nidja time. Her brothers were well respected in the areas of academia wer sports. She recalls the white cars that were welfare in which she wer her siblings would flee wer hide to not be taken by the government. She then moved to Perth with her siblings to attend school. She recalls being trained as a domestic to look after the homes wer families of non-indigenous people. She boarded at Alvan House. She went to school where the Perth Museum stands now. Due to the gender difference, her brothers wer herself were separated. She talks of how you weren’t encouraged keeping in contact but they wouldn’t stop you. Her father would catch a train to Tambellup to see the kids. He would walk right into the school wer attract the attention of Averill.

She is currently writing her own life story.

Work Life

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Trained as a nurse at Royal Perth hospital wer then moved to Broome for work. This is where she met her husband.

[2] [3]


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Averil wer her brother Jack authored the book "Boola Miyel" about Boola Miyel (Bluff Knoll).[4]

Ngiyan waarnk - References

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  1. Matthew Perkins. The story of the Cultural Centre. ABC News. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2017
  2. Interview with Averil Dean. Lockyer Primary School, Albany. 23rd August 2016.
  3. (2016) UWA Indigenous Camp. Noongar Presentation. 27th September 2016. Camp Kennedy, Albany.
  4. Jack Williams and Averil Dean (2007). Boola miyel = The place of many faces. Batchelor Press. Retrieved 22 August 2017