We’ve lost one of our best
THE Kyogle community is in mourning after elder Aunty Patsy Bundjulahm Nagas passed away on Sunday following a long battle with kidney disease.
Still coming to terms with the loss, Aunty Patsy's son Courtney said his mother was a proud Indigenous woman who fought for what she believed in.
The 28-year-old said his mother loved helping people and advocating for those in need.
"She was very proud of her identity and her heritage," he said.
"It didn't matter if people were black or white, if they needed help she was there."
"She wanted equality for all and believed everyone should be treated as equal."
Born at Casino hospital in 1957, Aunty Patsy joined the Gugin Gudduba Land Council in 1983 where she fought for reconciliation at a local and a state level.
In 2004 she was elected to Kyogle Council and went on to become Deputy Mayor.
A driving force behind the establishment of Kyogle Youth Centre and the Kyogle Community Gym, Courtney said his mother was also a big fan of the Kyogle Turkeys Rugby League Club.
Years of campaigning for more culturally appropriate dialysis services for Indigenous people saw Aunty Patsy nominated for the NSW Hidden Treasures Roll in December 2013.
Gugin Gudduba Land Council CEO Ron Randall said Aunty Patsy was a staunch fighter for the land rights of her people.
"She was a mover and shaker in all aspects of her involvement in the Indigenous community," he said.
"She was always building bridges within the community wherever she went representing the Gugin Gudduba Land Council."
Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland said Aunty Patsy pioneered the way for Indigenous people to be represented on Kyogle Council when she was elected in 2004.
Ms Mulholland said she would be greatly missed by the whole community.
"Aunty Patsy was a wonderful human being," Cr Mulholland said.
"She was accepting and tolerant and willing to share of her time with everyone.
Aunty Patsy is survived by her husband Gary, children Courtney, Gabriel, Matthew and Arminel and partner Don Jolley.