PUUYA STORIES

Dorothy Hobson, Chair

Dorothy is a proud Kuuku Ya’u woman, Chair of the Puuya Foundation and the artist responsible for the creation for the Puuya Foundation logo.

Dorothy Hobson’s life has taken a dramatic turn in the last ten years. In 2005 Dorothy was working in the local store before she was inspired to embrace her natural leadership qualities and her passion for her community and undertake a Diploma of Community Development.

“It took me four years to complete remotely from Lockhart River. And I received a lot of support from Puuya Foundation members Denise and Veronica. They helped make it possible for me to get my diploma.”

Dorothy (known as Dottie to friends and community members) had already held a range of leadership positions within the community, including her role as a Councillor for Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council for more than 10 years during which she was Chair from 1994 to 1997.

Completion of her diploma allowed Dottie to successfully secure her current role as the Community Development Director for the Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council. In 2008 she led the team that won the Queensland Smart Women, Smart State Award in 2008. In this same year Dottie participated in the National Indigenous Women’s Leadership Program.

Dottie has held the role of Chair of the Puuya Foundation since its inception, and created the artwork that became the Puuya Foundation logo. Dottie is very passionate regarding the work of the Puuya Foundation, and the unique model that the Puuya Foundation engages.

“The Puuya Foundation is different. It is community-driven and it makes a difference. I can see each day the help it is giving our community,” Dottie said.

“And the Puuya Approach is different. It doesn’t say things are impossible. It tells people in our community you can have things, but you have to work to get them. It doesn’t give them to us, but it says we will help you get it.”

“And it is community driven, so the community can say what the issues are, and what are problems are and the Puuya Foundation will help us.

“That’s how the Kuunchi Kakana (Families Together) Centre started. The community said we need to work on early childhood, because if we want things to change we need to start from when the babies are in the belly. The Puuya Foundation listened and now we have a family centre that’s community led and community run and the staff are from the community.”

Dottie takes a very hand-on approach to her role as Chair of the Puuya Foundation, and is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and undertake whatever role is needed. At times this has included working as the mini bus driver for the Kuunchi Kakana centre, shuttling staff, parents and children between homes and the centre.

“There’s no trick to being a good leader. You just need to do it. That means you do what needs to be done.”

When Dottie isn’t working at the Council, or engaged in her duties as Chair of the Puuya Foundation she enjoys creating artworks, crafting her own line of beaded jewellery using the native seeds from her country at Chilli Beach, and fishing for salmon straight off the beach during salmon season from May to August.