07 July 2022

<h2 class="text-dark-teal text-3xl mb-3">NAIDOC Week - a chat with Dallas</h2>

NAIDOC Week - a chat with Dallas

Dallas, our Executive Director in Taree, originally came from the Yuin Nation which extends from Berry down to Walaga Lake. His tribe is the Budawang Tribe from around Nowra Sussex inlet area. Now living in Forster, Dallas is thrilled to be working for Estia Health.

After working in acute and primary care, Dallas wanted to move into aged care, primarily because it’s an industry that’s growing, it has terrific regional facilities, and aged care is something that has always resonated with Dallas. Additionally, it has the bonus of being close to home. When he moved up to the area in 2012, he knew that he wanted to work for Estia Health, and he hasn’t been disappointed. “Estia Health in Taree has been very supportive and family orientated, I have had many opportunities to leave, but I feel noticed and taken care of here – I love working here”.

When asked to elaborate on how he feels ‘noticed’, Dallas explained that he has been embraced wholeheartedly as a person in both the job and culturally. He is recognised as a person in his own right. Because for him, it is so vitally important to be recognised. Culturally and historically his family were not, including his grandparents who were given numbers, not names. This practice also extended to his grandparents’ parents and their grandparents. At the time, one drop of white blood meant you were still considered to be Koori, and therefore discounted in society. It also increased the risk of the white/fair skin children being taken from their families. The White Australia Policy also limited interracial marriages and this policy did not change until the 1960’s.

For Dallas, Estia Health really does live up to its reputation as the heart of the home. Culturally Estia Health is set around recognizing individuals and embracing all cultures. And during NAIDOC week, we felt it was vitally important to understand if we were meeting the needs of our employees and residents who are Koori.

As an organisation, we thank Dallas for taking the time to explain how we can continue to embrace more of the Koori culture.

When you see Dallas, you will notice that he is white. This gets remarked upon a lot. How could you be aboriginal and white? But as his grandmother so beautifully put it “no matter how much milk you put in a cup of tea, it’s still a cup of tea”. Dallas loved her way of simplifying everything.

Dallas will continue with his wonderful work in Taree and enjoys talking about his fascinating heritage to those residents and staff who ask.