A community man
Born and bred in Bourke, in the far west of New South Wales, Uncle Frank always knew of his strong connections to Wiradjuri Country from his mother, Pat, who was born on the Talbragar Mission in Dubbo.
A Willae Wiradjuri man of the Tubbogah peoples, Uncle Frank moved from Bourke to Dubbo in the 1980s, and has since re-established and strengthened his links and connection to Country and community.
Uncle Frank joined us at Apollo House in 2012, initially employed to further our story-telling projects in East Dubbo's Apollo Estate. This early work grew with his role extending to include community work. Uncle Frank believes his early years in a river town have given him connections to families and communities around the area including Brewarrina, Bourke, Wilcannia, and Walgett, with many people from these communities shifting to Dubbo in recent decades due to a number of restrictive government policies, including those limiting childbirth on Country.
Uncle Frank believes it's a blessing to be someone the community trusts to share their stories with, and that these moments of sharing are sacred to him.
He knows from years of working in community that often people just need somebody to listen.
'If you rearrange the letters in the word 'listen' it spells 'silent', and I've learnt over time that is often is the best way to do it,' says Uncle Frank.
'Community is common unity - it is all of us and it takes all of us to be a community,' says Uncle Frank Doolan.