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Lynette Talbot - CIT Yurauna Centre

I am a Jerinja woman from the South Coast of New South Wales, and I teach sewing as part of the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts program at CIT Yurauna Centre.

Lynette Talbot
Lynette Talbot, CIT Yurauna Centre

I have a very great belief in the passing on of knowledge, and the best way to fulfil this is to teach.

My family faced some hardship when I was growing up – especially  after moving from Nowra to a deserted old mining township about five miles from Cobar, in far west NSW. We lived with a few other Aboriginal families in some old huts, and had very little to call our own. We also experienced a great deal of racism. But our mother provided the care and sustenance that moulded us together as a happy family. Under her tutelage, I learnt respect, to treat others as I would have them treat me, and to work for what I want, as anything is possible.

I returned to Nowra in my teens where I completed my School Certificate, and my older sister put me through a secretarial course at the Nowra Technical College, providing me with skills for employment.

Much later, when my children had grown, I returned to study and obtained a degree in adult education and Masters in Indigenous Social Policy at the University of Technology in Sydney.  For 10 years I worked in childcare, and after moving to Canberra I worked my way up in the public service.

After I retired from the public service, I enrolled in the sewing class at CIT Yurauna Centre as a means of furthering my sewing skills. The teacher of my class left suddenly and because of my qualifications, enthusiasm and skills, I filled the position on a temporary basis and have been here ever since.

As a childcare worker I enjoyed teaching craft activities to the children and helping them to complete their school work. Since working at CIT, I have been able to put my skills to good use.  I love the fact that I am able to encourage and assist my students to make clothing and other items that provide them with satisfaction and pride in their abilities.

The thing I like most about CIT Yurauna Centre is that in this centre we are not the minority.  We are able to learn and pass on our skills to others without always feeling like we must compete with mainstream students and teachers.

CIT Yurauna Centre offers Aboriginal youth the support and ability to become members of the public without shame through the attainment of skills that will take them successfully through their lives.

Through my role I hope I can help our students create and develop items out of fibres and fabrics, that they are proud to exhibit, sell or are useful for the needs of their families and extended families, as well as the ability to pass these skills to our youngsters.