- Local Champion
Aunty Merle is a strong and proud Yorta Yorta woman, mother, grandmother, sister, aunty, cousin, friend and community leader. She is a well-respected Elder and has worked as a teacher, educator, community development officer, emotional and spiritual wellbeing support worker, and writer.
Aunty Merle is currently working as the Marrung team leader at Victorian Aboriginal Educational Association Incorporated and as part of her role, has become part of the Victorian Multicultural Commission Greater City of Shepparton Roundtable that focuses on inclusion.
Aunty Merle helped establish the Dunguludja Dana Youth Group in Shepparton and was nominated as president. She is currently on the Save the Children’s HIPPY Advisory Group.
Aunty Merle worked as the Yorta Yorta Language project officer at Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation. In this role, Aunty Merle researched language, assisted with reviving traditional language and with language requests, consulted with community and agencies, created resources and taught language.
She has written a book called ‘Auslan and Yorta Yorta Language’ to educate community members on the importance of learning cultural language and show that, no matter the barriers, everyone can learn and encourage others to learn Auslan.
Aunty Merle has also volunteered her time and sat on various committees and boards including local sports clubs, Dungala Kaiela Writing Awards, Dungala Kaiela First Peoples Curriculum, River Connect Implementation Advisory Committee, and River Connect Education Advisory Committee.
Reviewed 11 October 2022