Keeping Nyoongah Culture Alive

Dumbartung (meaning “We of the people”) is a Perth-based grassroots community organisation committed to supporting the healing of Nyoongah people through cultural initiatives that strengthen spiritual identity and belonging. 

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Over the years it has attracted famous visitors including Bob Dylan, the Dalai Lama and Johnny Cash.

At the heart of Dumbartung are Robert and Selina Eggington, a compassionate, engaging and inspiring force to be reckoned with.

In 2013 they approached ICV for support with transcribing Aboriginal people’s stories submitted in the 2008 Western Australian Redress process, which compensated people who were abused and neglected while in state care.

Robert and Selina had handwritten the stories of 156 Aboriginal people and supported many of them through this painful and traumatic time.

Now wanting to do something special with all the stories they had collected, Robert and Selina asked ICV to find a volunteer for the job. Local husband and wife volunteer team, Joan and John Adderley, were delighted to help.

Joan and John have spent the past two years transcribing the 156 files so they can be given to the Redress participants and their families. It’s been a massive task, and a hugely rewarding one for everyone involved.

Robert and Selina offered a personal thank you to Joan and John at a recent screening of a documentary which explores the powerful history of Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation.

“We have two very important people whom we would like to acknowledge: John and Joan. John and Joan have spent the past few years transcribing the Redress stories of our people who were members of the stolen generation, people who were brutalised while in state care. This is very important for our people to have their story told and heard…. It was a blessing for us the day John and Joan walked through our door.”