Elder helped build bridges

Aunty Theresa Walley’s photo from last year’s Moorditj Bridyas (Solid Bosses) exhibition. Photo by Eva Fernández, City of Perth Cultural Collections

AUNTY THERESA WALLEY, an Aboriginal elder, author and founding member of the Perth elders advisory group guiding the city, has died aged 83.

Perth council house was lit up the colour of the Aboriginal flag this week to honour Mrs Walley and their flags were to fly at half mast on August 12, the day of her funeral. 

As one of the Mooridtj Bridyas (solid bosses) on the Elders Advisory Group, Mrs Walley helped form the Yacker Danjoo Nglada Bidi (“working together our way”), an agreement committing Perth council to acknowledge past injustices, commit to partnership, listen to Aboriginal voices, and make Perth 

a more welcoming and culturally safe environment for Aboriginal people. 

Carrolup Mission Councillors formally endorsed it and committed to signing at their July 6 meeting, shortly before Mrs Walley died on July 27. 

Mrs Walley (nee Winmar) was born in Kellerberrin and spent time in care at Carrolup Mission and St Joseph’s Orphanage.

Later in life she dedicated her time to researching her culture, passing down language, and authoring books preserving Aboriginal stories.

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