Val Didsman

Val Didsman

Val Didsman is a strong aboriginal woman who was raised in Cherbourg on Wakka Wakka country and has customary ties to Kamilaroi/Gungarri from her mother’s side and Kuku Yalangi from her grandfather’s s descendants. 

Growing up Val recalls the extreme challenges she had to face living under the Act, she recollects her fear of white people back then, “seeing what they were doing to us especially our old people, we weren’t allowed to practice our traditions and culture.” We were forced to live under strict and degrading rules.

Val believes growing up in Cherbourg was the best part of her life, even though they were on rations and under the Act they had family and community. Everyone came together to support and embrace each other, people from diverse tribes were brought to Cherbourg they expected them to be at conflict with each other ; instead it was one close community!

When Val turned 14 she commenced work as a domestic and was sent out to work on property, she believes this prepared her for married life. Her husband was in the army; they had four children and travelled extensively before settling in Deception Bay.

Val later decided to further her education and enrolled at Armidale CAE to concentrate on Aboriginal studies, therefore learning more about the political practices that government set down for Aboriginals people.(Policies, Acts, Laws and Restrictions etc.)

Val was later employed by Education Queensland in various positions and has always had a passion for books, with a special interest in appropriate protocols, ensuring her knowledge of Country and traditional owners.

There is great pleasure watching the younger generations embracing traditions, she finds this very satisfying seeing Aboriginal people succeed irrespective of the issues and obstacles they have had to overcome.

Though Val finds it disheartening seeing our young Aboriginal kids immersed in American culture instead of their own: while it makes her heart sing to observe others keeping the Aboriginal culture alive.

Val is a very private person who appreciates the country lifestyle, her family and her culture; they all share an important part of her life.