Aunty Betty Little 1944 – 2011
Writing on behalf of the Older Women’s Network in 2011 at the time of Aunty Betty’s death Pat Zinn’s words were “Yorta Yorta woman Betty Little was one of our Aboriginal Support Circle’s most loved and valued members”.
Through a chance meeting of Pat Zinn with Aunty Betty on The Block at Redfern Betty joined the OWN and her contributions were always “full to overflowing”; members of the group learned more from her than from lectures and forums because she contributed from the grass roots. She was a gifted and talented teacher and mentor, a performer, song writer with a great sense of humour and fun.
“She won the Edna award for ‘battling against the odds’. She was a great listener, a real gift for people – she really listened and could “be there for your friend, not to try to make it better with words”.
“She was also active in the Women’s Reconciliation Network and ESORA where ‘she told it like it is’ for many years in their Evening College Aboriginal Studies Course, until she became ill.” She was also a member of ANTaR Lowe.
Betty is credited with designing the Invasion Wheel, a teaching aid for Australia’s Black History.
She spent the last four years of her life at Blacktown Aged Care. A son and a daughter survived her as also her brother Jimmy who died in the following year.
Main source: OWN Matters November 2011. Aunty Betty’s story appears in Steppin’ Out and Speakin’ Up.