Without a doubt, one of the best things over the last year or so of running ALTD Spirits has been meeting people & hearing their alcohol-related stories.
People like you, from all walks of life, have questioned their relationship with drinking for lots of different reasons & we don't know about you, but we find these stories super interesting. But it’s not just the alcohol-related stuff that’s been fascinating. What the ALTD team love is learning about people within our community who are engaging in some pretty awesome initiatives, in some instances, against the grain or in other scenarios, simply being themselves or being there to support others, day to day.
To kick off what will be an ongoing collection of these stories, this month the ALTD team spoke with Frances Peters-Little, the Managing Director of the Jimmy Little Foundation (a charity that ALTD proudly supports) to learn more about the charity, but also to learn a bit about the woman behind the movement.
You'll read that Franny was the first Aboriginal woman to graduate from UTS in 1991, but also, that from a very young age she has had recurring, vivid dreams of a former life where she was a historical figure in 15th Century England. Her preferred drink is tea & perhaps quite fittingly, doesn't mind the odd Bloody Mary…
Please tell us a bit about the JLF & your work there
My role is as the Managing Director of the JLF. I work with a board of trustees 5 Aboriginal women (including me). Because of our financial restraints, the JLF can only service the community by providing small/quick grants to those who generally need the money in an emergency or who generally ‘fall through the cracks’, and would not be able to find grants elsewhere. We also coordinate workshops/events within the community that helps to merge the arts with Aboriginal culture and health. And we serve the community by acting in an advocacy role.
What is your main focus at the moment?
My main focus is to be able to give to those who need it in a flexible way, and to give opportunity to those who don’t have it. I aim to be inspirational and provide hope, and to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people. We aim to address and improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people holistically, and to merge the arts with good health. We further seek to assist Aboriginal people to receive financial support scholarships to promote healthy living, and to fund more people to run more programs with the arts area and continue to support and help Aboriginal communities to live a healthy lifestyle.
Big successes thus far?
In our capacity as an advocacy group, the one biggest success since I have been the Managing Director is that the JLF was involved with a campaign to assist the Dubbo Public Hospital build an integrated Cancer Centre. After lobbying with clinicians at Dubbo Hospital, West Dubbo Rotary Club and the Federal Minister Mark Coulton, we raised $40 million in 2016. The Cancer Centre is in stage two of its development in Dubbo.
Key challenges? What more can be done?
At the present the JLF relies entirely upon donations, which is not sustainable. We need to change our business entity so that we can apply for grants and broaden our income sources and work with other philanthropic organisations. We are in the process of changing our legal entity, which is being handled by our lawyers now.
What does the future hold over the next 5 years?
We would like to continue to provide small/quick grants to those who generally need the money in an emergency or who generally ‘fall through the cracks’, and we would like to also continue to run workshops/events within the community that helps to merge the arts with Aboriginal culture and health. We would like to be able to provide more scholarships for those wanting to study health and work in rural and regional areas. But we plan that within the next five years we will be able to memorialise Jimmy Little in some way and carry on the important work that Jimmy Little began, by focusing on health and the arts.
The last drink you had was…
I had a couple of Bloody Marys at my 60th Birthday party, in January 2018, apart from that, I drink alcohol very very rarely.
On Friday night my go-to drink is a…
San-Pellegrino Natural Mineral Water
My go-to celebration drink is...
Tea or coffee
Favourite thing to do in spare time is …
Favourite YouTube channel, Radio Program or Podcast?
I watch a lot of documentaries on Foxtel.
Favourite music / band
I love Australian bands, British pop music of the 60s & 70s, and Motown.
The person that has influenced me the most is...
Both of my parents.
Most people don't know that I...
I was Anne Boleyn’s seamstress in a previous life.