Aunty Flora Cook transcript

Start of Transcript

Description:

Aunty Flora Cook is standing stripping leaves from a green palm frond, whilst singing.  She is wearing a blue, white and pink flowered traditional Torres Strait Islander dress and wears a white and pink lei hanging down. The camera pans into the palm frond closely. Aunty Flora is then shown sitting on a woven mat with a beautiful garland of flowers in her hair and a smile on her face. She is weaving something small from the palm leaves. She has lilac coloured nails, and is wearing several rings and bracelets.

Aunty Flora Cook:

(Singing) Why are you looking so sad my dear, Why are you looking so sad? I'm thinking of someone so far away, in a beautiful place called TI. Oh TI, oh TI.

Description:

Aunty Flora is wearing a traditional Torres Strait Islander dress with red, yellow and black flowers on it.  She has on a brown jacket with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal flag badges. She has a garland of flowers in her hair.  She is now sitting at the Logan Art Gallery. 

Aunty Flora Cook:

I am an Erub-ian girl from Darnley Island. I love my culture. I protect it and I practice this.

DESCRIPTION OF MUSIC

A popular song in the Torres Strait Islands, Are you from TI? is sung by The Mills Sisters. The words are ‘Up in the sky, so far away, there is a place for everyone. The moon and stars that always shine…’

Text on Screen:

Aunties and Uncles

Aunty Flora Cook

Description:

Aunty Flora is wearing a traditional Torres Strait Islander dress with red, yellow and black flowers on it.  She has on a brown jacket with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal flag badges. She has a garland of flowers in her hair.  She is sitting at the Logan Art Gallery. 

Aunty Flora Cook:

I was born in Thursday Island on 16th of January 1950. I'm the eldest of five children and my parents both come from Darnley Island, part of the eastern island of Torres Strait.

Description:

Coloured photograph of Aunty Flora Cook’s mother and father as older people. Her mother is sitting down and her father is standing behind her, with his hands on her shoulders. They are wearing nice clothes and are outside, with trees in the background.

Aunty Flora Cook:

I have five children.

Description:

A collage of coloured photographs appear on the screen. There is three boys at the top, smiling and wearing suits with a flower in the pocket. Below these images, is a man wearing a singlet and a distinctive necklace, looking into the camera. Beside this man, is a lady dressed in a red traditional Torres Strait Islander dress, wearing a garland of white flowers in her hair, performing a dance.

Aunty Flora Cook:

10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Description:

Beside the collage of her five children, seven images appear on the right of some of her grandchildren.  At the top there is an image of two young people, smiling into the camera.  Below this is an image featuring a young woman and two young men, smiling. The young man in the middle has both thumbs up. Beside this, is an image of a young girl, smiling with a flower on her headband.

Below this is three photos, one is a young boy wearing a red school uniform, a young woman smiling and holding a sign that says ‘21’ and next to her is another young boy wearing a red school uniform.

DESCRIPTION OF MUSIC

A continuation of the song, Are you from TI? is sung in the background by The Mills Sisters. The words are ‘…it’s always the place for me! Are you from TI, Are you from TI? Where the wild wild wongai tree grows…’

Description:

Black and white photograph, from the State Library of Queensland’s collections, of panoramic views from mainland Queensland to Thursday Island, ca. 1984. The view looks out to an island inlet with other scattered islands in the background. The sky is endless, with few fluffy clouds.

Description:

Black and white photograph from the State Library of Queensland’s collections of the view from Thursday Island and harbour from Millman Hill, ca. 1976. The view looks out on the township, harbour, and other islands in the background.

Text on Screen:

Thursday Island, 1976

Aunty Flora Cook:

My first job after leaving high school, was a clerk with Department of Native Affairs in Thursday Island. And then I worked in the drugstore dispensing medication orders to the outer islands. I then worked as a nurse at the hospital.

Description:

Black and white photo of a group of young women doing a paper craft whilst sitting on a picnic mat outside.

Aunty Flora Cook:

And then as an assistant teacher aide, for three years in the school there. Before coming to Brisbane to do training at Brisbane City Hall, and returned as a qualified kindergarten teacher.

Description:

Colour class photograph of Aunty Flora Cook and two teachers, sitting with their young students, all smiling widely.

Aunty Flora Cook:

I then came to Brisbane and was teacher aide for four years with Kingston State Pre-School. Then worked for two more years as an Indigenous Teacher Aide at Mabel Park State High School.

Description:

Colour class photograph of five rows of teachers. Aunty Flora is on the third row, fourth from the right.

Aunty Flora Cook:

I then went to Darwin to complete my Certificate III in Early Childhood and then came back to Kingston.

Description:

Colour photograph of Aunty Flora seated outdoors wearing a traditional Torres Strait Islander dress with bright orange flowers with green leaves on a white background, and a garland of flowers in her hair. She is holding a large, traditional island Warup (drum) across her lap, and there is a little girl on a seat beside her. Aunty Flora’s arm is around the little girl. In front of them, is an instrument on the ground is called a Lemuth (drum). There are crowds walking by behind her.

Aunty Flora Cook:                                                                                         

I teach traditional dance and song, weaving, cooking and tell stories.

Description:

Colour photograph of eight young Indigenous girls, with their arms up, possibly as if to answer a question. They look to be in a classroom setting, with many books and posters in the backgrounds. .

Aunty Flora Cook:

I make string finger, Lei and beads for school children all over Brisbane to give them a taste of Thursday Island culture.

Description:

Colour photograph of nine ladies, six wearing green, traditional Torres Strait Islander dresses with flower prints, and garlands of flowers in their hair. One lady is wearing a shirt with the name ‘Mabo,’ with a Torres Strait Islander flag in the O. There is another lady wearing a blue floral dress and a third wearing a darker dress with red flowers.  Aunty Flora is sitting on the front right hand side of the group.

Aunty Flora Cook:

It is very important for me to stay in contact to my culture,

Description:

Colour photograph of a smiling Aunty Flora outdoors, wearing a green, traditional Torres Strait Islander dress with flower print, and a garland of flowers in her hair.

Aunty Flora Cook:

And to return to Torres Strait, the place of my birth, as often, as I can see another member of my family.

DESCRIPTION OF MUSIC

A popular song in the Torres Strait Islands, Frangipani Land, is sung by The Mills Sisters. The words are ‘In Frangipani Land, there is time for love and giving…’

Description:

Views of ships anchored at the wharf on Thursday Island, North Queensland, 1984

Colour photograph from the State Library of Queensland’s collections, of ships anchored at the wharf on Thursday Island, 1984. There are a number of building in the foreground, the wharf, a beach and green islands across the blue water in the background.

Colour photograph of the ocean near a port with a number of large boats and trawlers in the background. There are two smaller dinghies, one with three Torres Strait Islander men in it.

Aunty Flora Cook:

Thursday Island is a small place. It’s a really friendly island, for everybody.           

Description:

Aunty Flora is wearing a traditional Torres Strait Islander dress with red, yellow and black flowers on it.  She has on a brown jacket with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal flag badges. She has a garland of flowers in her hair.  She is sitting at the Logan Art Gallery. 

Aunty Flora Cook:

There's fourteen islands around the Torres Strait. We, all of us, do the different dialects, different language. But we understand, when we talk together amongst one another, we understand what we're talking about.

DESCRIPTION OF MUSIC

A continuation of Frangipani Land, sung by The Mills Sisters.

Description:

Colour photograph of Aunty Flora’s parents. Her mother is sitting in the cabin of a boat, near the steering wheel. Her father is outside the cabin, is wearing a tropical blue shirt with palm trees, and looking to the camera.

Aunty Flora Cook:

My Dad was a native police up there.

Description:

Aunty Flora is wearing a traditional Torres Strait Islander dress with red, yellow and black flowers on it.  She has on a brown jacket with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal flag badges. She has a garland of flowers in her hair.  She is sitting at the Logan Art Gallery. 

Aunty Flora Cook:

But he was on ten shillings a day - a week - a month, ten shillings! So he have to come over to find a job and find the money for his family.

Description:

Colour photograph of Aunty Flora Cook and her daughter, dancing whilst wearing bright red, traditional Torres Strait Islander dresses, beads, and flower garlands in their hair. There is an audience watching behind them.

[TRADITIONAL TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER MUSIC IN LANGUAGE]

Description:

Colour photograph of four women standing up, one woman on a chair and five young people smiling and sitting in front. All the people in the photo are wearing traditional clothing in bright colours and headbands with flowers.

Aunty Flora Cook:

I teach some of my young girl and boy dancing, from small, from TI. When they start primary school I teach them there.

Description:

Colour photo of a lady sitting next to Aunty Flora Cook wearing traditional clothing in bright colours and headbands with flowers. Aunty Flora Cook is holding her large Warup (drum) across her lap and smiling.

Aunty Flora Cook:

All the kids, and I come up here, and I teach them again. They love the Taba Naba.

[Aunty Flora laughs]

Description:

Aunty Flora is wearing a traditional Torres Strait Islander dress with red, yellow and black flowers on it.  She has on a brown jacket with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal flag badges. She has a garland of flowers in her hair.  She is sitting at the Logan Art Gallery. 

MUSIC DESCRIPTION:

Aunty Flora sings in her language. 

Description:

Colour photograph, from the State Library of Queensland’s collections, of panoramic views from mainland Queensland to Thursday Island, ca. 1984. The view looks out to an island inlet with other scattered islands in the background.

Colour photograph of nine Torres Strait Islander adults, men and women, posing, dressed in traditional clothing in bright colours. One lady is holding a large Warup (drum) and a man is holding a guitar.

Aunty Flora Cook:

Like this Taba Naba, this one you go out, and you got out, and find a fish, or anything, turtle or anything, bring them back for your family. To feed your family, go out on a reef and get some - Taba Naba.

Description:

Aunty Flora Cook is sitting on a woven mat.  She is wearing a blue, white and pink flowered traditional Torres Strait Islander dress and wears a white and pink lei hanging down. The camera pans into the palm frond closely. Aunty Flora deftly weaves palm leaves whilst singing.

Text on screen:

Aunty Flora continues to be involved in cultural practices in Kingston, Logan City.

Aunty Flora Cook:

 (Singing) Take me across the sea, over the deep blue sea.

Description:

An image of a small woven shape made of palm leaves that Aunty Flora has made, is shown. Camera returns to Aunty Flora sitting at the Logan Art Gallery. 

Aunty Flora Cook:

Darling won't you take me, back to my home TI…

DESCRIPTION OF MUSIC

Continuation of Frangipani Land, sung by The Mills Sisters. The words are ‘…and that is why, I love this Frangipani Land, it is TI, and that is why, I love this Frangipani Land, it is TI, and that is why, we love our Frangipani Land …’

Text on screen:

Director

DOUGLAS WATKIN

Camera

MATT COX

Editor

AXEL GRIGOR

Text on screen:

The Our Aunties and Uncles digital stories project is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s Your Community Heritage Program.

Image of Australian Government’s logo

Image of Logan City Council logo

Text on screen:

Logan City Council gratefully acknowledges the time, resources and stories of the following:

Aunty Flora Cook

Uncle Barry Watson

Nyeumba-Meta Advisory Group

Text on screen:

Logan City Council gratefully acknowledges permission granted by the State Library of Queensland to digitally publish the following photographs:

View of ships anchored at the wharf on Thursday Island north Queensland, 1984

 View of Thursday Island and harbour from Millman Hill, ca. 1976

View from mainland Queensland to Thursday Island, Queensland, 1984

Panoramic views of Thursday Island, 1984

Text on screen:

Logan City Council gratefully acknowledges the rights to use the following music by the The Mills Sisters from their album “Frangipani Land”, kind granted by Newmarket Music:

Are you from T.I

Frangipani Land

Mount Ernest

Text on screen:

For Mobo Jarjum - tomorrow’s children

Text on screen:

© 2014 Logan City Council

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