Click on the play button above to hear the full interview with Aunty Esme
There are few people who assume the burden of responsibility and leadership as fiercely proud Bangerang and Wiradjuri woman, Aunty Esme Bamblett.
Senior Pastor of Barak Christian Ministries, Victoria police Indigenous Officers’ Chaplain, a PhD in Koorie Identity, member of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, President of the Fitzroy Stars Football and Netball Club, and to top at all off, CEO of the Aborigines Advancement League. It’s an enormous list, and one that is bound to grow…even under coronavirus lockdowns.
Aunty Esme spoke to Charles on Connection Matters Radio (CMR) about life under coronavirus lockdowns.
“Well, I suppose like everybody else, I’m feeling a bit lonely,” she said. “And it’s not even only family, it’s community. I miss community.”
In talking about the League, Aunty Esme revealed a number of initiatives that have been underway – even during lockdown – that are set to be welcome changes for community upon their return.
“We’ve really done a lot of upgrading at the League,” she told CMR.
“We’ve upgraded the hall upstairs and repainted it. We’ve re-floored it, not carpeted, because it’s not carpet everywhere. We’ve put new blinds in, we’ve got a couple of new speakers outside. One out at the flag pole and one on the left hand side of the building where the people come when we have funerals. We’ve also got a live stream camera upstairs now.”
Added to all those changes are: a newly built training room downstairs that we’ve built; new heating and air conditioning throughout the building; and even worked on roofing because of some pre-existing plumbing issues. “We’ve done everything,” she said. “It’s looking really good!”
The Fitzroy Stars
While sports may be on hold during the lockdowns, it doesn’t stop Aunty Esme from looking forward.
“We are looking forward to next season, and I’m encouraging all our players – the netballers and the footballers – to really start to do some training.
“We’ll have a women’s team in next year. We were having them this year, but that fell through with these things that happened, but we’re still putting our women’s team in.”
It was during the interview that Aunty Esme put forward the idea of a a Fitzroy Stars cheer squad: “You know what, Charles? What about this? Why don’t we start a Fitzroy Stars cheer squad, too?”
And she immediately put out the call: “I’m going to put a call out. If you want to be part of Fitzroy Stars cheer squad, when we start up again, come down to training and we’ll put something into place.”