Elizabeth Richards 

 

DOB. 16/08/1961

Elizabeth lives in Pt. Lincoln. Her mother, Vera Richards was originally from Whyalla.

Elizabeth's father, Arthur Smith Yates was from Point Pearce.

Elizabeth was raised by her grandmother, whom she was named after. She remembers that her grandmother spoke Barngarla with her, of which she can occasionally recall some words and phrases.

Elizabeth is part of the stolen generation, she was taken from her family in 1967 and returned when she was fourteen years old. When she was taken away, she was made to only speak English.

Today, Elizabeth is involved with teaching the young people about their connection to the country, through her knowledge of traditional medicine, language and food. She often goes bush with her family to tell stories under the stars, as well as to collect shells and rocks for painting on. Elizabeth explains that many of the stories of Pt. Lincoln are women's stories. One of the stories of that area is of the Seven Sisters. She is worried about the mining and excavation that is happening in the area, as it is ripping up the land and destroying these stories.

Elizabeth is expecting her fourteenth grandchild later this year. Her dream is that these children will grow up speaking Barngarla. She has committed herself to the Barngarla language reclamation effort as a representative of her family, after the loss of her brother who had also been involved.

Elizabeth says that the children are picking the language up fast and are enjoying learning it,“The joy, you can see it in their faces, they are hungry for it and they will learn it.”

She hopes that one day her grandchildren will be able to teach their language in a university.