Poy Pensio

My name is Poyana Pensio and I am from the Eastern Torres Strait Darnley (ERUB) Island.

My childhood and events from that time moulded me into the person I am today. I lived in the Torres Strait until I turned 17 years when my career on the railway began.

I got married in 1975 in Townsville to Marcia, and we began raising our family before moving to Brisbane and buying our first home. I found a desire to gain opportunities on the railway, working in locations across New South Wales and Queensland and achieving promotions.

When my mother became ill I left the railway and we returned to the Torres Strait to care for her. I began studying and working with Queensland Health. My own health began to deteriorate when I realised I was indulging myself with unhealthy foods, alcohol, smoking and not exercising. I began thinking this is the life while at the same time I was putting on lots of weight.

By 2000 I suffered a slight heart attack and ended up on lots of medication and then dialysis. I changed my life around with my family and took a different point of view to confront my health and well-being.

Going back to country and the sea where my forefather used to live, I have been motivated by many things in my past and now my greatest motivation is my family. My experiences through my working career and health journey aided me to develop a healthy lifestyle program which integrates both Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures.

Today, Marcia and I continue to run a Healthy Lifestyle Program with Bidgerdii Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Services. Now when I talk of my experiences, I reach a lot of people to support their healing journey.