Multicultural Watch-Moments With Reena- Aunty Flo

14067546_1772405209704553_1690422019640837425_nMoments With Reena Interview – Auntie Flo Watson (OAM) Aboriginal Elder

Earlier this month, Moments With Reena had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Aboriginal Elder and OAM Auntie Flo Watson in her home, in Brisbane. This woman’s workload is remarkable with her resume really needing to be split into chapters rather than mere pages.

As an Elder, Auntie Flo belongs to the Ghunghanghi People of Yarrabah, North Qld and is a traditional owner. She also Also affiliates with the Kuku-yelangi people of Laura/Maytown, Palmer River area and the Wulguru Kaba people of Magnetic Island near Townsville.

With a background in community work from a very early age, Flo received the OAM in 2015 for her services to the Indigenous Communities of Queensland. Whilst she is very proud of her achievement and recognition, she has not rested on her laurels and is still pushing ahead continuing her sterling work.

She works in a great number of roles with skills across so many areas it is hard to list them all here. From consulting on Indigenous government projects to production of information CD-Rom’s to organising and MC’ing events, her effort is always 100% from the heart in all that she does. She has even been an Executive Producer on the television documentary; “Yarrabah, the Mission Years”.

Combining her knowledge and cultural background has seen Flo work in the education sector also where she has facilitated forums such as “A Study of Rural and Remote Disability Employment Assistance” focussing on Indigenous communities.

To anyone who has organised an event you will know the sheer scale and volume of work attached but she continues to produce time and time again. It is not a throwaway line when we say she has too many to list here because she truly does.

Some of the consultancy Flo has undertaken includes the facilitation of Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training, with the following organisations:

• Legal Aid Qld;
• Brisbane City Council;
• Tourism Qld
• Crime and Misconduct Commission
• Department of Mines and Natural Resources;
• Department of Primary Industries;
• National Native Title Tribunal;
• Telstra;
• Department of Immigration and Indigenous Affairs;
• Australian Bureau of Statistics;
• Australian Hearing Services;
• Department of Communities;
• Australian Customs Service;
• Department of Child Safety
• Indigenous Community Volunteers
• Tamrock Sanding (South Africa); and
• Department of Employment Training and Youth Affairs (now DEEWR).
When speaking with us it was clear her husband of many years, Ron, was a great support and clearly loved her deeply. It is this type of love and support which is irreplaceable to Flo when she is driving forward with the work which she does.

When asked to name a highlight over her many years of community service she didn’t pause and answered instantly; ‘I walk down the street and people will stop and say hello Auntie Flo. It is so nice to be recognised and remembered as these are people who have attended functions where I have spoken. Even after many years they still remember me.’

One thing that we noticed (and we are sure others will too) is that her passion and drive remain firmly in the same place they were when she began. She is striving to deliver a better world for everyone and pushing to improve the local Brisbane and wider reaching community. The crew of Moments With Reena were amazed and blessed to be around her.

Flo has sat and still sits on several boards with distinction and again, there are actually too many to list here. Her responsibility as an Aboriginal Elder is one which commands respect but at no time does she ever abuse this position choosing to focus only on helping others.

We simply cannot speak highly enough of this wonderful lady. Her attention to helping everyone around her is second to none and a joy to see and hear of.

It is people like Flo who truly light up the world around us and we would again like to thank her and her husband for inviting us into their home and in speaking with us.

Auntie Flo, you are a beautiful ray of sunshine and we wholeheartedly hope you keep spreading your smile around Brisbane for many, many years to come.

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