Boon Wurrung Elder and Linguist/ Language Consultant
Aunty Fay Stewart -Muir is a Boon Wurrung Elder and Traditional Owner of the Melbourne area from her mother’s Boon Wurrung clan and Wemba Wemba from her father’s clan. Fay is a registered nurse and has worked in the medical field for over thirty-five years and continues to nurture strong bi-cultural partnerships within the health, education and community sectors to imbed cultural knowledge into educational practice.
Fay holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education in Primary teaching and is passionate about passing on her knowledge of one of the oldest living cultures in the world, Aboriginal culture and teaching students from a very young age through to tertiary about Aboriginal history and language.
Fay is a respected Elder who fosters strong cultural links for Aboriginal children and their families through her regular attendance at koori playgroups, schools and community services based on both Boon Wurrung and Wemba Wemba Country.
Fay is a Honorary Staff member at Melbourne University’s Indigenous Health and Equity Unit and works as a Project Officer with the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages in Melbourne, where she is discovering historical knowledge through old documents, which are valuable information to assist her to reawaken her traditional Boon Wurrung language, a language which has been a ‘sleeping language’ over 200 years.
Arnam Liber – Living Heritage Consultant/ Blog author
Sarah works at the University of Melbourne’s Indigenous Health and Equity Unfit as a Research Assistant for the First 1000 Days Australia Project and Community Arts Officer for Mornington Peninsula Shire. Prior to this role she held the position of Community Outreach Officer for the Library has Legs, Windermere’s Communities for Children Cranbourne Project.
Sarah has over twenty-five years’ experience working within community, health, arts, education and library service sector. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities (Drama and Sociology), a Degree in Dramatic Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts and a Master’s Degree in Regional Education and Community Development, Monash University. Sarah has recently completed studies in Intangible Cultural Heritage at Deakin University as part of her Phd pathway.
Sarah is passionate about developing place-based and culturally meaningful learning environments for Indigenous children, families and extended community, which draw on the wisdom of Elders and connects them to the traditional Country where the programs are based to foster their sense of belonging. The cultural literacies projects involves bi-cultural partnership project work that focuses on connecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families with their heritage culture, particularly intangible heritage which is transmitted by community Elders, cultural educators and artists, such as traditional language, crafts, stories, dance and knowledge. Sarah believes that by empowering Aboriginal Elders and educators to teach Indigenous children about their traditional culture and language in their early years, not only strengthens’ the identity and wellbeing of children but improves their confidence and self-esteem, increasing their motivation to learn.
In 2016 Sarah was awarded the State Library of Victoria Margery C Ramsay leadership scholarship for her project ‘Strengthening the Cultural Identity of Communities through Libraries’ – a multifaceted project incorporating research and action learning and involved travel to the Northern Territory, a secondment with the Northern Territory Library Service.
Following on from the Scholarship project Sarah established ‘ Arnam Liber – Living Heritage’ Blog and Consultancy to share her project learnings and research work within a broader community context.
Above photo by Frederick Court