In rural and remote areas, community is everything. When our Cunnamulla Early Childhood Centre and Kindergarten reached out to local Elders in the community, they were pleased to meet Aunty Mary Mitchel and welcomed her with open arms in her fortnightly visits to the centre.
Meet Aunty Mary
In 2015 Aunty Mary published her book Mary’s Story – from Bob’s hut to personalised plates where she tells her story of a life of joys and sorrows from the passing of her baby boy suffering from whooping cough, the sudden death of her father to her own struggles with cancer and the loss of her daughter to the same illness.
But among the sadness in Mary’s story she celebrates the joys in her life. Turning 80 last year she takes great pride in her ability to drive herself around town and lend a hand wherever it is needed, volunteering for the Cancer Council, teaching people how to read at the local library and most recently spending time with children at Churches of Christ Care Cunnamulla Early Childhood Centre.
In 2017 Mary was awarded citizen of the year and earlier this year received a NAIDOC Elder’s award.
Encouragement leads to education
Growing up, Mary’s mum impressed on her a value of quality education and this is something Mary works hard to share with younger generations.
Visiting our Early Childhood Centre most fortnights Mary spends her visits reading and colouring in with the children in the kindergarten, sharing morning tea and having a yarn.
Cunnamulla Early Childhood Centre Service Manager, Kerri-Anne said the centre values her visits.
“The children know Aunty Mary already from her work in the community and the children, parents and teachers alike all have great respect for her. It’s a relationship everyone values,” Kerri-Anne said.
For more information about Aunty Mary or our Cunnamulla Early Childhood Service phone 07 4655 2888.