Irene Ryder - Central QM PDF Print E-mail

Irene Ryder
Irene Ryder
A relaxed approach and dedication to her culture has seen Irene Ryder create an impact from the dusty streets of Mitchell in central Queensland, to the cool polished halls of the Queensland Museum. There her artwork and life story form part of an exhibition entitled "Women of the West." This celebrates the contributions of women from many walks of life and their unique place in Queensland's history.

At home in Mitchell, 60 kilometres west of Roma, Irene has been a teacher of Gunggari language for the past eleven years. She says simply "I feel a special bond with the children of the area. I love having the opportunity to teach them our language, and it's not only the Aboriginal kids, but the white children as well. They all love to learn."

Having taught in both state and convent schools, Irene most recently completed a nine week program at the tiny Dunkeld School. This caters for the children of local station owners. Most of Irene's work is performed on a voluntary basis, however she has at times accessed funds through the ATSILIP program to continue the development of teaching materials for the school programs.

In 1995 Irene was coordinator of a three day festival in Mitchell entitled Walking the Pathway Together. The festival served both to celebrate achievements and encourage cooperation and goodwill between the Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal members of the local community. It was supported by both councils in the town.

Irene is president of the Nalingu Aboriginal Corporation in Mitchell.