Virginia Skuse

I am a descendant of the Goreng Goreng people from the Southeast Queensland Coastal area.

I grew up in the town of Bundaberg where my family lived for many years
As a child my parents were very protective and supportive. We had many good times camping and fishing which was a primary source of our food supply.

I always remember one of my aunties who would take me and my cousins on long walks to the river where on the way we would collect mangos and other fruits and nuts that grew wild in the bush.

My father was a very powerful influence in my life. Dad always used story telling or phrases to get his point across and I remember one of his favourites were "Any dead fish can float with the tide, but it takes a live one to swim against it". This phrase and many like it is what has given me the inner strength to be persistent in the fight against inequality.

I started studying subjects by correspondence so I could apply to study at University level when I was in my early thirties, married with four children.

I enrolled at the University of Queensland to study Social Work in the early 90's. I found studying at the University was a positive time for me as the subjects I enrolled in greatly improved my knowledge and made me feel empowered to share my deadly stories with staff and other students.

Since gaining my degree, I have been employed in the area of Child Protection both in the Department of Child Safety, Department of Communities and currently in DATSIP. I have had the opportunity on many occasions in these positions to be an advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities.

I am happy with my achievements and I believe I have been a role model for my children whom I am very proud of. My youngest daughter Brooke is studying Psychology and is in her final year of honours at Griffith University.

DESCRIPTION: Right to Left Brook and Virginia Skuse