Daly River, NT
Hello, my name is Gwendoline White.
I was born and bred in Bagot Community but my tribe name is Malak Malak from Daly River.
I went to school in Darwin and spent most of my holidays around Daly River. I went to school first in Ludmilla and then Kormilda College and finished year 11 at Nightcliff High.
When I finished school, I went back and worked at Bagot community. I worked all kinds of jobs, but we weren’t given specific training. Sometimes working at reception, doing Centrelink work, AbStudy, tax, filling out forms for mothers, also helping those old ladies who would sign their name with a cross. We would go to get ID for all the mob in Bagot, we used to go to the Aboriginal Population Records office to get all the ID for old people. They had given all the old people birth dates, so we tried to get them birth certificates so they could get Centrelink payments and tax file numbers. We would do all kinds of things, payroll, banking, inquiries, reception work sometimes even delivery driver dropping off breakfast for the kids. We had to be jack of all trades.
I also worked for 2 years at the Northern Land Council (NLC). Here I started with reception, and moved into the registry office, where we stored files and made them available for people who wanted them.
I completed Certificate I and II in Business Administration at Batchelor College. I started a Certerficate III, but then I had to stop because Mum got sick and I had to be her carer. I’ve also adopted and looked after many children along the way.
Now I want to do something for myself, which is going back on country and working and doing this study. I’m enrolled in a Diploma of Indigenous Research, and I will be going back home to live and work, this is for me to do.
Research work with family in Belyuen community