Kerang’s Esther Kirby is following in the hard-working footsteps of her mother. Ms Kirby today received an OAM for her service to the indigenous community of Victoria.
“It’s not in our culture to big note ourselves. I nearly fell over when I found out,” she said. “This award is for my mum and all the women who fought for our rights to be educated, to get degrees and licences. It’s emotional knowing what they went through. They were resilient and kept going, and didn’t let negativity get in their way.”
Ms Kirby has served with Mallee District Aboriginal Services, the Kerang Elders Committee, the Swan Hill Region advisory group and the Gannawarra Shire’s Bush Kinder Program.
She also chairs the Kerang Local Education Consultative Group.
“Part of our responsibility is to make sure young people are doing OK, whether they are related to us or not. We have to be a support for them and keep on the right track,” she said. “The whole of the community of Kerang has worked side by side and supported each other.”