Koori coast
< Continuity and change

Jodi Stewart

Jodie Stewart remembers being told stories while collecting shells with her grandmother.

Jodi Stewart

My grandmother, she used to collect shells and make harbour bridges, and booties. And that was a part of their livelihood, they used to do that as a pastime. So that would help them bring in food, and whatever they needed to spend their time to get to these places. So she’d sit there for days on the beach, and we’d be with her, and we’d be gathering the shells in a pillow case. She’d say “come over here” and we’d all tip them out on a sieve, and we’d be there all sorting them out and shaking the sieve and getting all the grit out – getting all the nice shells, the particular ones that she liked… She told us a lot of stories, where not to go and where to go, what to do and what not to do. When she did tell us a story and she’d say to you “Now you’re not to tell them people them things because that’s between me and you, and you can pass them on to your children.” So that’s why I don’t talk about or to a lot of non-indigenous people in the area, I don’t tell them a lot of things, because what’s been passed on to me I can pass on to my children.

Interviewer: And you’re doing that?

Jodie: I am. Very much so. This generation today is not like the generation we had back then. Kids today they don’t have much patience to sit around and listen to the stories and the dreamtime stories from wayback. They find other things to be amused with, but they know about their culture. That’s the one they should know about and learn about is their culture. Because it’s still alive and always will be alive. It’ll never die.