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Affectionately known as Judy, Muriel Thorley was an Aboriginal activist whose fight for equity and justice for Nyungar's was well known and respected. She was the eldest daughter of Barbara Jackson (Hayward) and Albert Henry Jackson (also known as Harry) a farm labourer, boxer and soldier. Her early years were spent in Woodanilling and surrounding areas where her father worked on farms clearing land. In the early 1940s the family moved to Chipper Terrace in East Perth. Because of the war her first couple of years of school were spent with her brother Harry at Broomehill Primary.
Judy moved back to Perth and attended Mecedes College and the family continued to spend their school holidays at Broomehill and surrounding areas with relatives. Judy left school at 14 and worked in the kitchen of Mercedes College Boarding School for a short period before commencing work at Michelides Cigar and Cigarette factory where she worked until the age of 16. She then then worked as a Nursing Assistant at the Home of Peace, Subiaco.
Judy married Colin Thorley and lived in and around North Perth before moving to Mosman Park where she lived for some 18 years. While bringing up her nine children Judy worked as a welfare officer with the Aboriginal Advancement Council and in later years went on to complete a business course at Key Personnel in Perth. Judy was a well known Elder and mentor for Aboriginal students and staff of Unviversity of Western Australia and Curtin University where her daughter Carolyn Moylan (q.v.) worked. Judy then moved to Mount Claremont and nursed her paraplegic and head injured son until he died in 1998. Following this she resided there until her death in 2001.