Betty Chimney Australian, Yankunytjatjara, b. 1957

"I was born in the little hospital at Port Augusta.  My mother was born near the big rock close to Mintabie, on the other side of David Bore. My brothers and I grew up mostly at Coober Pedy, but my father passed away when I was very young.   

It was a hard time in Coober Pedy during that time. Alcohol had become very popular and everyone experienced hard times because of it. My father and 5 brothers had all passed away quite young due to problems related to alcohol. I think that because both Coober Pedy and Indulkana are close to the highway, they suffered the hardest during this time.  

I was lucky because Alec Baker's father came and picked up my mother and me. So we moved to Indulkana, when I was about 8 years old. Alec Baker is about 10 years older than me, so he was off working mostly. But my mother and I loved living in Indulkana.  

We lived in a big wiltja by the Indulkana creek, near the cemetery with Alec Baker's mother and father for quite a while. There was a lot of water at the creek, I used to play in the cold water of the Tjukitji (underground spring) with the other children, it was a great childhood for me. Eventually we moved up to the new Indulkana community. My mother has passed away now, but she lived a good life. She was a strong woman who survived a hard time with lots of change.  

I don't drink, so I am healthy and quite fit, I think I am a survivor in some ways from that hard time. I met my husband and had two daughters. Now I am lucky and have two granddaughters and one grandson, he was born on Christmas day!  I love my life at Indulkana and where the community's future is going. Indulkana is a strong place with lots of culture, and our young people are working hard with the older people to make strong decisions for the future for Anangu."