My name is Allan Quartly. I am the second (and last) child of Ronald and Beryl Quartly (nee Gibbens). I was born and raised in Balmain, a suburb of the city of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. I am a Balmain boy.
My parents were both born in Sydney, my father in Bondi, my mother in Balmain. My mother’s mother was born in England and migrated to Australia in the early decades of the 20th century, where she married my grandfather. My father’s parents were both born in Australia, but my great-grandfather Quartly migrated to Australia from England. And so it goes, all the way back to early colonial times, every second generation at least, an Australian born ancestor marries a British born ancestor from England or Northern Ireland. My own children are the first in my line that do not have at least one parent or grandparent born in England. It is for this reason that, although I feel a great love for this country Australia, my ancestral home is both England and Australia.
In 2009 I was fortunate enough to attend Milpirri Festival in Lajamanu with a fellow teacher, Lance (Jangala) Box. This trip transformed my understanding of Indigenous Ways and started me on a complex journey of discovery about Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations. It is also where I was given the Warlpiri skin name, Jampijinpa. I now live and work in Katherine and surrounding communities in the Northern Territory as the ICT Support Teacher.