“My work keeps opening doors inside of me………….I will never stop doing this.”
In 2018, Dianne attended a workshop run by the NPYWC Domestic & Family Violence Service (DFVS). The workshop was for people that may be interested in working with them, helping Anangu women and families that are impacted by domestic & family violence.
I was a bit shy and nervous Dianne said. But I saw one of the NPYWC Directors, Mrs Smith and she said “I am glad you are here. This is going to change you and your spirit… you will be a different person inside.”
“Listening in the workshop, I thought: I have found something that means something to me.”
Working with the DFVS offers me levels of growing, I keep learning. I began to understand what domestic violence was.
A key job for Dianne in her work as an Anangu Support Worker is translation. For Dianne, translation is not just about changing the words from English to Pitjantjara but also translating meanings and concepts. English has a lot of technical words, especially around the law. Dianne helps create resources and use relatable concepts to help people understand more about domestic violence.
“Many people don’t understand how laws affect them. They don’t understand the power of judges to separate families and what restraining orders mean.”
“My job with the DVFS is like a bridge.”
Dianne and her team also run workshops in remote communities. The workshops create a safe space for women to talk about domestic violence and about what to do if violence approaches their lives.
In the office Dianne plays an important role in supporting women that have been impacted by, or are worried about domestic violence. “I sit with the women and make them feel safe and comfortable. I give them advice on how to think through things slowly so they can work them out.”
Domestic Violence has such negative connotations, sometimes people don’t want to engage with learning about it. “It is important to learn from the past, people in the future need to know the past even though sometimes it is sad.”
Dianne grew up in Kaltjiti (Fregon, SA) and Pukatja (Ernabella, SA). She remembers her childhood playing with friends and family, waiting for the rain to fill up waterholes so she could go swimming, digging for imaginary honey ants and catching lizards. Dianne went up to year 11 at Ernabella Anangu School and went on to study further at TAFE and Bachelor College in 1993.
A talented artist, Dianne has also worked with Kaltjiti Art from 1996. In 2001 Dianne began a teaching degree with AnTEP through the University of South Australia and completed this in 2007. She worked as an Anangu teacher at Ernabella Anangu School from 2008 and continued up until 2015. Dianne has been with the NPY Women’s Council DVFS team since 2018.