May Kepple

May is one of 9 children born to Elta and Nobel Kepple in May 1956. May's early years were spent on Meripah Station where her father was a stockman and her mother was busy with the children as well as cooking at the station. May lived on the station until she was about 6 or 7 years old, when she moved to Coen for schooling.

May attended Coen State School and remembers playing games like "rounders, hopscotch and softball" with the other students in the schoolyard. Leisure times were spent doing fun activities much the same as children in Coen are still doing like swimming, fishing and having Tarzan ropes across the creeks and rivers. May also liked going with her aunty digging for yams and collecting bush cherries when they were ripe. These and the fish were some of May's favourite foods.

May's secondary schooling was at Herberton State High School. As a young woman she liked to socialise with her friends and one of their most enjoyable outings was seeing movies outside the Armbrust store under the verandah.

May has 3 children and a granddaughter, and says having her children and granddaughter have been special events in her life. May also enjoys getting dressed up for events such as Melbourne Cup Luncheon and loves cooking and working in her garden.

May is on the Coen Justice Group, is a Justice of the Peace and a Local Commissioner with the Family Responsibilities Commission in Coen.

May became a foster carer in 2007. She says some of the special skills a foster carer needs are to be:
- fair
- understanding
- prepared to deal with children that may have been traumatised
- able to deal fairly with the children's parent/s
- able to deal with the differences with children at different ages

May says...
I know I'm doing a good thing for the children in my care.
I know I'm helping my community by keeping the children here.
I want them to know and be part of their family.
I want them to have friends here.
I am helping them to learn about and retain their culture.
I want them to keep their birthright and have contact with their land.
I want them to grow up happy.
I want the children to know their mother and to understand her difficulties.