A lifetime education advocate, Aunty Pauline Gordon is pictured here addressing school students at a Naidoc Week ceremony in 2012.
A lifetime education advocate, Aunty Pauline Gordon is pictured here addressing school students at a Naidoc Week ceremony in 2012. JoJo Newby

Funeral for one of the Valley's indigenous champions

THE CLARENCE Valley will have a chance to farewell one of its great indigenous and community champions, Pauline Nola Gordon, tomorrow.

Mrs Gordon, of Grafton and Baryulgil, died on August 27, aged 85. She was the the widow of Ken 'Linky' Gordon

A member of the Stolen Generation, Mrs Gordon became a passionate advocate for her people in the fields of health and education.

In response to the disastrous effects of the Baryulgil asbestos mine, she and her husband were instrumental in setting up the Aboriginal Medical Service.

Her expertise was such she spoke at indigenous and environmental forums in Norway, Paris, Rio De Janeiro and South Dakota.

"I just wanted to do something as a role model that might encourage the younger kids to do something like this and show them that they can do it," she told The Daily Examiner in an interview in 2006.

"I do believe in getting around and ... letting people know who we are as a people (and that) white Australia does also have a black history.

"I think that racial divisions happen when people don't understand each other and that's when you get discrimination, so if you just inform people about each other then there'll be less problems.."

Mrs Gordon was a believer in life long education, in 2006 graduating from the Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education in Darwin with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Social Sciences.

Her grand daughter, Dani Larkin, said her grandmother had gone to great lengths to ensure her family grew up surrounded with family love and their culture.

"By the time she had her children, grand children and great grand children she made sure we were all connected to culture," Ms Larkin said.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend Pauline's funeral service, to be held at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Bent Street, South Grafton, commencing at 11am. The funeral will continue at the Clarence Lawn Cemetery



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