Celebrating Learning

Aunty Jeanie Mason

Aunty Jeanie Mason, a respected community elder, serves as both an artist and curator for the Be Bold Blakout exhibition held at the Brimbank Community and Civic Centre (30 June – 6 Sep 2023).

When asked what she is currently learning, Aunty Jeanie humorously responds, expressing the challenges of navigating the complexities of dealing with a teenager once again. Additionally, she reveals her aspiration to expand her knowledge of Graphic Design, aiming to transform her artwork into patterned fabrics and clothing.

Reflecting on her personal learning journey, Aunty Jeanie recounts overcoming various hurdles. Despite the demands of balancing family and community responsibilities, she managed to obtain a Bachelor of Arts and Community Service with Honours. Finding time and financial resources proved challenging, but her determination prevailed.

When asked to impart wisdom to her younger self, Aunty Jeanie playfully suggests avoiding marriage, alluding to the difficulties she faced in her two marriages and as a single mother. She then shares her most arduous learning experience—the devastating loss of her second eldest son to cancer. Coping with such a profound tragedy demanded immense strength, as she had to continue supporting her other children while cherishing the memory of her departed son.

Conversely, Aunty Jeanie reflects on the most positive learning experience she has had. She fondly recalls the time spent with her mother, Elsie Rose Jones (nee Lawson), who was an esteemed educator and was recognized with a Medal in the Order of Australia for her contributions to Aboriginal culture. Aunty Jeanie's mother passed on invaluable knowledge about Bakandji culture and is the primary inspiration for all her art, leaving her overwhelmed with pride and happiness at the thought of learning from her.