Queensland Women's Association Kalkadoon president honours Mum in Naidoc tribute

REMEMBRANCE: Judy Martyr (centre) with grandson and daughter Jodi, at the Kalkadoon Keeping Place during Naidoc Week. Photo: Esther MacIntyre
REMEMBRANCE: Judy Martyr (centre) with grandson and daughter Jodi, at the Kalkadoon Keeping Place during Naidoc Week. Photo: Esther MacIntyre

Judy Martyr is a proud Kalkadoon woman, just like her mother.

Born in Cloncurry where her parents were married, Judy moved to Mount Isa with her family as a youngster.

She has taken on the role of president for Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA’s) Copper City Mount Isa Branch.

During Naidoc Week, Judy honoured her mother.

So have you lived mostly in Mount Isa? 

“Yes, mostly. I have actually moved away three times, but I have always made it back to my family.”

“Being a very proud Kalkadoon woman, and with it being Naidoc Week and reconciliations on everybody’s plate, all the time, to think that my mum would be really proud today, that I have been able to be part of the CWA and especially be president of an organisation,” Judy said.

“My mum was very special in my life – she passed away in December last year and I’m actually wanting to do this interview today as a bit of a tribute to mum, as well. 

“Aunty Shirl was a very well respected elder in the community and this would be her first Naidoc celebration. that she hasn’t been able to attend. And, I really felt it this year, that she’s not here. 

Judy wears her mum's earrings with pride at the Kalkadoon Keeping Place during Naidoc Week in Mount Isa.

Judy wears her mum's earrings with pride at the Kalkadoon Keeping Place during Naidoc Week in Mount Isa.

“Last year I attended the seniors lunch with her for the first time – because I actually turned a senior last year, so I had that invitation which was very special, to be able to go with my mum,” Judy said.

“I am wearing my mum’s earrings for Naidoc Week. These are hand painted by her.”

“She did paint a lot, she was an artist in her own right here and she has paintings all over the place; people that have bought little paintings, and she donated paintings to various places. And the family have a lot of her paintings, we all have at least one,” Judy said.

Judy has one of her mother’s paintings hanging in the kitchen above her sink, where she can see it every day.

It was evident how much Judy and her family love and miss her mother, their Aunty Shirl.

Is Judy artistic, though?

“Not at all,” she laughed.  

“I’m probably artistic in the way of arranging furniture around the house and making things look a little bit pretty. Clothes. And I think I got that from Mum, too. 

“Mum was very artistic. In painting, floral arrangements. Dress sense – she never went out unless she was dressed well and she always had lipstick on,” Judy said.

What does Naidoc really mean to you?

“It’s about the pride of being a Kalkadoon woman in today’s world. I just really want to pay tribute and say that we are still following on from her and celebrating our heritage. And she is very proud of the fact that I’m president on the CWA,” Judy said.

When did you take on this role with QCWA?

I became involved with QCWA probably around three years ago, and I became president of the Copper City Mount Isa Branch last year.

QCWA FOUNDER RUTH FAIRFAX:

​ “In our Association we are a great sisterhood of women and a democratic one, putting aside petty difficulties of position, wealth and pride. We are out to be a mutual help to one another, the town to the country and the country to the town and there is plenty of room for improvement in this way.”