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Iris Lovett-Gardiner Iris Lovett-Gardiner i(A25291 works by)
Born: Established: 1926 Western District, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: ca. 24 Feb 2004
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal ; Aboriginal Gunditjmara
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Iris Lovett-Gardiner was born at the Lake Condah Mission in Victoria, seven years after the mission formally closed down. When she was nine, Lovett-Gardiner moved with her family to Green Vale, a few miles away, where her father had erected a two room cottage bought from the mission. Lovett-Gardiner received schooling up till year eight then worked as a domestic first in Hamilton and then in Melbourne.

At the age of seventeen, Lovett-Gardiner worked at a travelling showground where she met and married her husband Irwin Garald 'Tiger' Williams, a travelling boxer. They stayed in that business for nearly a decade. While Lovett-Gardiner lived in Mooroopna with her husband's family, she worked at the canneries, and later at the Hospital. Eventually, she moved to Melbourne where she worked in the Linen Department at the Alfred Hospital and then as a salesperson selling Indigenous artefacts.

Lovett-Gardiner was offered a job at Koori Kollij, where she taught the history classes. While there, she researched her own family history. She was a strong community member and campaigned for a a 'nursing home' culturally appropriate for Indigenous Elders to live in comfort. Once funding was received to build, it was named the Iris Lovett-Gardiner Aboriginal Elders Caring Place.

In her late sixties, Lovett-Gardiner decided to go to university. In 1996, she graduated at the age of seventy from Deakin University with a Graduate Certificate in Natural and Cultural Heritage Interpretation.

(Source: Lady of the Lake : Aunty Iris's Story by Lovett-Gardiner, I., 1997)

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Last amended 26 Nov 2019 17:16:08
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