“I am a Mamu Aboriginal people (Dugul-barra and Wari-barra groups), originating from Millaa Millaa in the Far North Queensland. I am blessed to have been born into two different and contrasting cultures – my father comes from the oldest city in Austria, Enns and my mother is from the Mamu Aboriginal people (Dugul-barra and Wari-barra groups), originating from Millaa Millaa in the Far North Queensland, Australia.
I have had moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears since 6years old and rely on hearing aides to be able to hear. Throughout my late teens/early twenties I suffered from debilitating depression, my emotions and ability to live a normal life were severely disabled. Painting got me through that time. I would and still do create brolgas with such freedom of life in the way they dance because that was the way I wanted to be. I also have a 7 year old daughter who was born with Spina Bifida and who requires daily assistance and wears AFOs to support her walking. We are currently waiting to hear back for a wheelchair to help her get around long distance. Even today, though mostly depression free, I still like to think I am painting myself and my children – particularly my daughter (who i like to call Astro Girl due to her AFOs) as dancing free and uninhibited as brolgas do.”
– Melanie Hava