Sunshine Bay’s first Aboriginal Liaison Officer

Three years ago, Amber Brown moved from Walgett to Batemans Bay to start a fresh South Coast life and make a better sacrifice for her family. In the article, we get to learn about Amber and what she likes doing, and how much she loves her job at Sunshine Bay Primary School.

amber brown
Amber was born in Queensland in a women’s hospital in 1986 but lived in Walgett for most of her life. Amber is a proud Gamilaroi woman. Amber has three children who are heavily into sports and are in primary school as well. Amber loves to clean her house with her music blaring, having time to herself, going out with her friends, and is very socially outgoing. Amber’s main inspiration for getting this job was her mother and the people around her that were encouraging her and motivating her to apply for this position within the school and the community.

Throughout her primary school and high school years, Amber moved around a lot. “I moved so many times throughout my life but I always managed to come back home to Walgett. Throughout my high school years, I attended Seven Hills High School in Sydney.” When Amber was asked how she enjoyed school and what impact it had on her, Amber said, “I hated school, I thought I had better things to do. I didn’t want to sit around in class all day and learn stuff that didn’t matter to me in life. In primary school I felt like I had absolutely no support by any of my teachers, I couldn’t read or write until I was 10. When I got to high school, I just flaked school off because I didn’t understand, nor open up to anyone because I didn’t feel accepted.”

Amber is very proud of being the Aboriginal Officer at her school. I asked Amber what an Aboriginal Liaison Officer is, and she went on to tell me that she supports all of the Koori kids in school. She supports the children from Kindergarten to Year 6 with all of their academic, social and emotional needs. Amber also connects with the parents of the students frequently. Amber likes to think of herself as the stepping stone between the parents and the students. Amber loves her job, and she is forever grateful that she has been chosen to help the students out and for knowing that they always have someone within the mob that they trust and adore makes Amber love her job even more. “I don’t come here looking for respect, I come here because I trust and adore them as much as they trust and adore me,” Amber said.

With the following week being Reconciliation Week, I asked Amber’s thoughts on what reconciliation means to her. “ I think it’s good! I think it’s nice to acknowledge and come together as one, and we keep talking about closing the gap and we are doing more as a community now and even more people are starting to understand it more. I think it’s really good,” she said.

Sunshine Bay Koori Students of Years 5 and 6 took a buddy with them to an event that was being held and Amber and another teacher told me it was a really good day, and I can’t wait to keep doing more Aboriginal things with my students.

Story contributed by Chloe Towney from Batemans Bay High School. Published in 2017.