Uncle Aden Eades
Uncle Aden was born at the United Aborigines Mission in Gnowangerup, where he spent his first six years. When his father Fred returned from war in 1946, the family then returned to Kojonup and then to a farm just west of Boyup Brook. Aden left school at 13, worked for a year clearing the farm near Boyup, pulling poison and learning axe skills with his dad and uncles. After a year, he headed for Borden Reserve, in his mother’s Country, where his Granny Ag and Pa Chris lived. For the remainder of his young adult years, Aden followed seasonal farm work, shearing, harvesting, seeding, around the Great Southern, using Borden Reserve as his home base.
Aden met his future wife, Joyce Hart, around 1962. After a year together, they left Borden for Ongerup, where they lived for 18 years. In 1970, Aden, Joyce and their five children moved into their first house at Ongerup, and Aden continued farmwork around the district.
Uncle Aden took a job as Aboriginal liaison officer with Community Welfare in 1977 which took him back to Gnowangerup. He travelled the whole of the state with this job, from the Kimberly to Esperance. After moving to Albany in 1995, Uncle Aden worked with Southern Aboriginal Corporation as a project officer and then retired.
For decades, Uncle Aden has been a foster carer, which continues to keep him busy at 84 years of age. He plays an important role in the Noongar community as an Elder and knowledge holder, having experienced and learnt from his Elders. Aden does this work with pride, seriousness and a wonderful sense of humour.
Uncle Aden continues to tell the stories of his life and experiences. Today, his main hobby is connecting with cultural knowledge and passing on stories to the next generation of boordiers (bosses for Country). Over the last 5 years, Uncle Aden has been happy to work with researchers from UWA to revisit the footsteps of his life and record his stories.
Yarning about fire
This story offers so much! It is a heart-warming yet serious yarn that shines more light on a way forward with fire. Here's Uncle Aden: "Kaarl (fire) was always part of our life ... We had a good life in camps and the kaarl made sure we were alright. We had all the comforts thanks to the fire." Join Uncle Aden Eades, Aunty Eliza Woods and PhD student Ursula Rodrigues as they sit and yarn about fire.