Koori coast

Seeing environmental changes

An interview with Jimmy and Annette Scott

Annette: Things like, I know, for instance the oysters around the area, you could always just go and the oysters were there in abundance. Pipis down at …, you could walk in, just, you know.

Jimmy: Pipis are all gone. Could find them with your feet, you know?

Annette: I went here recently down to Tathra beach. I went to show some of the tiny grandchildren how to get some pipis. They had no idea what I was talking about because I couldn’t even find a shell to even say ‘look, this is what they are.’ You know, once upon a time you could just put your feet in, and flip them around a bit.

Jimmy: You could walk out and dig with your feet and they would just come up out of the hole. And they’d all, out of the hole that you’re digging down with your feet, they’d all just come out. You’d just pick them up.

Annette: Bimbalas, at Merimbula there.

Jimmy: Bimbalas! Used to take the kids there.

Annette: They’ve got big mangrove crabs and that you know, you could eat the meat.

Jimmy: Bimbalas like that, you know.

Annette: I’m worried about my grandchildren not having that experience. When we teach them, when we teach our kids, like when Jimmy takes them out to teach them, it’s hands on. It’s not about, yeah this is that, blah blah blah. It’s hands on. And what’s the good of it if you can’t have hands on? Same as when I took them out there to show them pipis that day.

Jimmy: Couldn’t find one.

Annette: Couldn’t find a pipi. And I felt really, you know. That wasn’t the older ones, the older ones know about pipis, they might not have seen them. But these were the tiny ones and I was trying to explain to them, you know the 1 and the 3 year olds and that, what a pipi was, thinking I could get one out of the sand, so they’d be able to understand. But you can’t tell them about something that’s not there, you know what I mean?

1. Pipi: popular, edible shellfish; also used for bait.
2. Bimbala: south coast Aboriginal language word for Blood cockle.