Wendy Berick is an artist and teacher, who together with family members, runs workshops to keep emu feather traditions thriving. Wendy began her career as an artist working with ochre, charcoal and acrylics and has been involved with projects with the National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Victoria and the Dreamtime festival at Brimbank Park. Wendy has run emu feather workshops at number of Kalinya events including The Koorie Youth Summit and NATSIEC.
The workshop at the Summit, titled Jim-baa-Yer Kul-Kun Knul-Du-Rung (Teach Youth All Together) has been one of the most popular sessions. Each delegate receives an emu feather pack, with everything needed to create their own necklace, apron or other adornments.
Who’s your mob?
I’m a proud Dja Dja Wurrung Yorta Yorta woman born on Yorta Yorta Country and have been fortunate to strengthen my connection to our Dja Dja Wurrung mob through song, dance and language.
What makes your proud to be an Aboriginal woman?
I am honoured, privileged and it makes me extremely proud to share my knowledge.
Why is it important to share cultural knowledge?
My mother Aunty Fay Carter and other extended Elders taught me that we all have a responsibility to pass on and share our Cultural knowledge to the next generations, this is our birth right and it ensures ongoing connections to our Ancestors and Country.
You have run workshops twice at the Koorie Youth Summit, why do you think it’s important that young people have these cultural gatherings?
The opportunity for our youth to come together at such events is so so important, it provides a safe place to gather as one, it provides opportunities to strengthen identity, build connections with mob and families, learn and share their knowledge and culture.
Photo: Tyson Austin
Wendy Berick at the Koorie Youth Summit