31 July 2020 // Selina & Robert Eggington
Selina (21st October 1958- ) is a Nyoongah yorga from the Wheatbelt town of Narrogin in Western Australia. The eldest of three siblings, she moved around a few times in childhood, growing up in the Wheatbelt and for a while in Boorloo (Perth).
Robert (23rd March 1957- ) is the second eldest of four. A Nyoongah man, as a child he moved many times in Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, following his fathers Army commitment.
They met at a disco in the 1980s and have been inseparable ever since. Parents of three children, and four Grand-children, they have spent their lives dedicated to uplifting the Nyoongah community, the National Aboriginal Community and advancing Aboriginal rights alongside the international struggle of First Nations and Black people.
Robert is the founder of the highly acclaimed Kyana festivals held in Perth during 1991-1993, Robert also founded and evolved the award winning Kyana gallery which was recognised with a significant assessment award of the collection in 2010.
In 1994, Robert established Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation, a vital institution protecting the integrity of Aboriginal Culture and a safe space to unite people in the face of continuing appropriation of their Cultural property. Selina has worked at the Dumbartung as the co-ordinator of the Kootamiara (“healthy”)Quab (“strong”) Women’s Healing Program from the project inception.
Prior to this, she has worked with many community women, empowering them to make positive choices in their lives. Selina also assists in delivering lectures to the various groups that visit Dumbartung.
As a couple they have been at the frontline of countless rallies and actions in Boorloo including Swan Brewery protests, Eddie Burrup (Elizabeth Durack), Pauline Hanson, Stolen Wages, Black Deaths in Custody, Land Rights, Justice for Elijah Dougherty.
In 1994 Dumbartung co-ordinated the highly successful Yokai rally which focussed predominantly on Police and community relationships issues such as Deaths in Custody, Racism in the Media, Housing issues, and Cultural exploitation issues. They have spoken at BLM protests in Perth in 2016 and in 2020 and recently in protest against Rio Tinto June 2020.
Internationally the were at the forefront of challenging the harmful fallacy written by a white American on her claim to have undertaken a walkabout in her book “Mutant Message Downunder”. This led to a delegation to the United States, to formally protest the content and stand in opposition to her proposed multi-million dollar exploitation of Aboriginal people.
Having lost a child to suicide, they are incredible advocates for suicide prevention and provide consistent healing for the Aboriginal community. Together they continue to organise strategies to oppose cultural appropriation, exploitation and stand as a testament to the power of Black love.
"May our Campfires burn forever"