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A Big Life

Blak and Bright

Event Date: 20 March 2022
Author / Presenters: Aunty Pattie Lees, Adam Lees, Aunty Bev Murray

These first time authors have written captivating memoirs of their extraordinary lives. We hear from Aunty Pattie Lees, and Adam Lees. Moderator Aunty Bev Murray.

Free – bookings essential.

1.45pm—2.45pm @ The Wheeler Centre: Performance Space


Pattie Lees was born in Cairns, North Queensland, and was removed from her family at an early age and sent to Palm Island as a Ward of the State. At the age of nineteen she joined the Women’s Royal Australian Navy. She represented Australia as a delegate at several United Nations development forums. She is currently CEO of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Children and Youth Services. Married to husband Terry for 51 years, Pattie is the mother of four children, grandmother to twelve and a great-grandmother.

Adam C Lees, Pattie Lees’ eldest son, has worked in the mining, energy and resources sector as a community relations and sustainability professional since 2000. He is currently a Senior Corporate Affairs Manager for Woodside Energy based in Perth. Raised in Mount Isa, his wanderlust and passion for photography have taken him off the beaten track to more than 65 countries. Adam is member of Mer Gedkem Le (Torres Strait Islanders Corporation) Registered Native Title Body Corporate and the Cape York Land Council (CYLC).

VACCA supported Aunty Bev Murray throughout her fledgling writing career which commenced when Bev wrote her first children’s book and then went on to undertake a Diploma in Creative and Indigenous Writing. Bev has written a number of short stories, a script for a short film, songs and poetry and her two biggest dreams are to complete her book on her family and to turn her children’s book into a musical play. Having worked in community for over 35 years Bev has taken on a variety of roles, including, Founding Director of Ilbijerri where she was voted in as its third President, Director of a number of Aboriginal Community Controlled organisations too many to mention, a 22 year employment history with Aboriginal Housing Victoria where she eventually became its first CEO, a senior Policy Officer at City of Melbourne and an elected ATSIC Representative. Bev comes from a family of eight and has lived all her life in Melbourne but did spend two years studying in Adelaide, South Australia.

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