Vale Big Boss

The very much adored, and deeply admired paramount matriarch of the Yan-nhaŋu people Laurie Baymarrwaŋa passed peacefully away in her ninety seventh year on Wednesday 20th of August. Her life was inestimable, her virtue remarkable, and her passing bequeaths a fabulous legacy. Born in the time before the coming of the missions, she remembered the old ways, the ways of kin and country. Her dream to entrust this knowledge to new generations as a foundation, a font of strength and counsel in the law, drove her to create a homeland, a school, ranger and heritage programs, marine sanctuaries, language nests and an Atlas among other gifts. Senior Australian of the year 2012, her vast knowledge of generations of social and physical geography was revered by others who themselves are old and wise. To the very end she struggled to save her ocean home from mining and exploitation, unspoiled for future generations. Baymarrwaŋa’s love and generosity for the world is something one rarely sees . . . if only it were more common. A truly great leader, a nurturer, her spirit returns to the homelands that created and compelled her.

5 thoughts on “Vale Big Boss

  1. Derek says:

    Galay, ngarraku bapa’mirringu David Garambaka Ganambarr would be an interesting read…

  2. Rose Rath says:

    The Sacred ancestor vale big boss
    condolences to u Doctor Bentley and all her family and mob.I just saw the documentary on Nitv and was so deeply touched by this sacred Guardian ancestor of the sacred culture leaving proper original ways forever.
    Bentley big Respect to you for being so real and making it possible to continue original ways for the future generations you are.one of a special kind.manymuk.

  3. Heather Burton says:

    Wonderful program on Big Boss and YaNhangu thank you Dr James for your efforts to share her story with the world.

  4. Trudy Avlonitis says:

    Thank you, Dr Bentley James, for honouring the vision and dream of this beautiful old woman. A lot of heart and soul went into the dictionary, a precious legacy for Yolngu people and non-Indigenous people alike.

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