Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

At 86 he is a master

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

Growing up in Queensland, Uncle Edward (Dennis) Seymour used to sit with two other Aboriginal boys and play ‘dots’ at school.

His teachers believed that he couldn’t be educated because of his Aboriginal heritage.

Six years ago Mr Seymour set out to prove them wrong, and now, at the age of 86, he has graduated with a Masters in Visual Arts from Federation University in Victoria.

“I’d been painting for about 50 years but when people asked me where I’d learnt, I’d say I taught myself and I lost a bit of confidence,” the Nurragga man told the Koori Mail.

“Now I’ve got the degree I feel like I can teach others. That was the reason I did it; I’ve been helping people for years, and now I feel I’m qualified for it.”

Mr Seymour said attending TAFE and then continuing on to do his master’s at Federation University was a “great experience”.

“There was me and another Aboriginal man doing the course. There were a couple of women too, and I made some great friends,” he said.
“We had plenty of help in the course, with mentors and support.”

Mr Seymour said he hopes his story will inspire others to rise above the racism they have faced in their lives.

“If you’re told you’re stupid for many years that challenges you,” he said.

“But challenges can be overcome. Aboriginal people are intelligent and we deserve an education.”

Uncle Dennis Seymour and Aboriginal artist Mick Harding were among the graduating class.

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way.

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