Dr Treahna Hamm

Alpine Observer - - People Around Town - I met my birth mother in Syd­ney when I was 27 years old who I saw 3 times be­fore she passed away. I’m glad I did even though it was hard for my adopted par­ents, but they re­alised that it was im­por­tant. My friend filmed the meet­ing on Su­per 8 film. of the

What is your job?

I am an artist and a teacher which I have done for over 3 decades.

Is it some­thing you al­ways wanted to do?

Ever since I was a young child as soon as I picked up a pen­cil, that was it. Art was some­thing spe­cial that at­tached me to my Abo­rig­i­nal fam­ily who paint, play mu­sic and are very cul­tural look­ing af­ter our her­itage and en­vi­ron­ment. I was taken from my Abo­rig­i­nal mother at birth in Mel­bourne and by de­fault my won­der­ful adopted par­ents picked me up and took me back ‘to coun­try’ on the Mur­ray River at Yar­ra­wonga – my peo­ple’s tra­di­tional home­lands. Art and ed­u­ca­tion was a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion as the arts were my an­ces­tors’ ‘books’ and be­ing out­door in the en­vi­ron­ment learn­ing about sig­nif­i­cant sites and sto­ries gives me a lot of strength for my iden­tity and be­long­ing to my peo­ple and land.

How do you come to be in Falls Creek?

I’ve known Lindy Allen of the Falls Creek Re­sort man­age­ment (who or­gan­ised my visit) since 2006 when we both worked on the pos­sum skin cloak seg­ment

What do you love about the job?

I love every­thing about my job be­cause it con­stantly changes, with travel and teach­ing skills that I have learnt from tra­di­tional Abo­rig­i­nal prac­tices and my for­ma­tive art col­lege/univer­sity stud­ies.

I think it is great to see peo­ple who get ex­cite­ment out of learn­ing a new artis­tic skill as it re­minds me of how I feel when learn­ing from El­ders. I also love to talk about cul­ture, sto­ries and share fam­ily sto­ries. My first cousin Isa­iah Fire­brace who I am very proud of won X Fac­tor and went on to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia at Euro­vi­sion sings in one of the cul­tural videos I showed the Falls creek school chil­dren and com­mu­nity. Its al­ways good to put your story and cul­ture into per­spec­tive and also learn from peo­ple about their lives, sto­ries and cul­ture also. I call it prac­ti­cal rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

What do you do in your spare time?

I prac­tice my art and keep an eye on my beau­ti­ful 90 year old mother in aged care where I sup­port and read to her. I will def­i­nitely show my mum the Falls Creek project photos and men­tion all my new friends to her. I hope to come back to Falls Creek one day to see ev­ery­one again.

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