John Brierley was born in Moruya. He is the son of Ernie Brierley and Beryl [nee Andy] Brierley and grew up at Garland Town, Moruya; Broulee Island, Broulee, Mogo and Wallaga Lake. John is a self-employed fisherman. He has found his own work throughout his life, as did his father, and grandfather. His father, who was in turn educated by his father Walter Brierley, has passed knowledge of the land and sea onto John. John is teaching his son, Christopher Brierley the ways of the coast and waterways.
In 1955 John Brierley and his parents lived on the Broulee Island. John went to school from Broulee Island. They lived in a house on the northern side of the island amongst the trees. The family lived on fish caught by Ernie. John sees Broulee Island as part of his family’s traditional area. Throughout his life, John has used the south coast waters as his fishing grounds; the primary place of importance for him being the Broulee and Moruya areas. He ‘ranges’ along the coast, depending on the season, weather and fish levels.
John continues to be based in Moruya working as a professional fisherman.
Excerpt from Stories About the Eurobodalla by Aboriginal People, 2006. Story contributed by Martin Ind from Moruya High School.