Mary Franks


I was born here in Singleton, so as local as they come. I grew up at Mount Olive, just out of town on a big beautiful mountain. My childhood was spent hanging out with my brother Thomas. We were running amuck in the mountains, picking fruit and playing down at the creek. I remember making a little dam in the creek, it was like our bathtub, and going down there hanging out there in the Summer.

Dad had the best veggie garden, so we would always be in the veggie garden nicking the cherry tomatoes, or the boys pinching my prams and making billy carts out of them. I do remember that, I don’t remember ever having a pram very long with those brothers of mine.

I had been a Mum for a few years and once I had my last son, I was itching to get back into work. I like to work outside in the bush, the bush is my home. I’m a very bushy girl.  I’ve been working in Cultural Heritage for a fair few years now and really loving that, getting back with my Culture and my heritage.

So, we go out on mine sites and housing development sites and we’ll go do some surveys or walk around with some archaeologists. We’ll have a look to see if there is potential for an Aboriginal deposit, like an artefact deposit in the ground. Then we will come back and do some test pitting in there and sieve and dig like you see on Indiana Jones.

I love it. You love working out there. You’re learning and picking up artefacts. This is my land. Working around other Aboriginal women is the best therapy and it’s the best medicine you can have. Outside in the bush with Aboriginal women, you can talk, you can laugh, you can tell them how you feel, and they understand you. We’re a bit different, we are, we talk different, we act different, we are like our own little community and it’s great to have that camaraderie amongst our people.

“I Like to work outside in the bush, the bush is my home.”