The Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Service (AMIHS) has been operating for some time out of the Emergency Operations Centre in Twynam Street, in a place colloquially known as “the room”. That space now has an official name, Gil Ga Li Buraay, or Gilgali Buraay. Roughly translated, it means to nurse or to nurture children. The name was decided upon out of two options, with Gilgali Buraay winning more than 60 per cent of the vote.
The opening was held in the midst of NAIDOC Week last Wednesday. With this year’s theme of ‘Because of her, we can’ in mind, local woman Nioka Dupond gave a speech in thanks of the service.
“I’m here to say a few words about being a mother and receiving this service from these ladies. I look forward to every visit. I look forward to these amazing ladies telling me that I’m doing the right thing and that my kids are growing up perfectly. They are not only here for me as a mother, but as a woman. Being a parent means that you are constantly worrying and wondering whether you’re doing the right thing by your children and mothers carry this worry most of all.
“Being a mother is hard. It’s the hardest, most rewarding job we will do as women. There is a fierceness that grows inside of us; we will move mountains for our children.
“But we do not stand alone. We will always have our mothers to support us, and our grandmothers to listen to us. As mothers we will always be the most important part of our families. Because of us, we can. Because of her, we can.”
The name for the rooms was decided upon via social media and according to the Aboriginal Health Coordinator at Murrumbidgee Local Health District Sabrina Brown, the group reached about 400 people online for ideas for the room’s name.
The other option for a name was Marram Bidya Gulaman, which is both the name of the river connecting us all together, and the gulaman, which is a tool for carrying babies and food.