Aunty Josie’s commitment to Aboriginal community remembered
MORE than 300 people farewelled a highly respected Aboriginal elder and tireless community worker at Tweed Heads today.
A funeral service was held for Currumbin resident Josephine Appo, or Aunty Josie as she was known, at St Cuthberts Anglican Church following her death on July 28 at 73-years-of age.
The mother of eight's funeral procession was then given a police escort to Minjungbul Museum where her life was celebrated with cultural dancing, speeches and a community lunch.
Tweed-Byron police Aboriginal community liaison officer and Josie's friend Beck Couch, said police only provided funeral escort services for the most respected of community figures.
No-one knows half the things she's done for others. I am proud to call her my friend.
"She was an inspirational and strong community leader," Ms Couch said.
Aunty Josie's deep commitment to Aboriginal welfare saw her help set up the Krurungal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Welfare Corporation which she remained active in for 20 years.
The corporation was heavily involved in a range of Aboriginal welfare inititiatives including generating job opportunities for indigineous people at Gold Coast City Council, Telstra and in the public service.
Friend of 42-years Pat Leavy, who was also the first president of Krurungal, said: "For all the jobs out their today (for Aboriginal people) they can thank people like Aunty Josie."
"No-one knows half the things she's done (for others)," she said.
"I'm proud to call her my friend."
Son Grant Appo said: "My mother was a tireless worker in the community for the elderly and young people."