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.

marrḏapthanaraŋu adj. joy-giver marrkapmirr customary greeting (friendly/informal). Lit: märr (joy) -ḏapthun (join) -nara (nominaliser; joining) -ŋu (adjectiviser; describes) describing the quality of joining with joy. marrḏapway adj. joy-giver marrkapmirri, märr -ḏap -way (having the attribute of joining with joy). P: 317  Yan-nhaŋu Atlas and Illustrated Dictionary of the Crocodile Islands

Vale: Latin, literally ‘be well!, be strong!’, imperative of valere.


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