Valerie Andy was born in Orbost, Victoria, in 1933. Valerie’s father was Syd Solomon from Orbost and her mother was Joyce Carter from Wallaga Lake. She was brought to Wallaga Lake as a young baby, and was raised by her mother and Arthur Thomas who was born at Wallaga Lake.
Throughout her life Valerie has fished in and around Wallaga Lake, cooking fish according to ‘old black ways’ on the Lake’s edge on the hot coals. She has also caught echidnas and collected honey from native beehives found in the bush around Wallaga Lake. Arthur Thomas took Valerie and her sisters to Montague Island. They travelled in a canoe and caught groper, lobster and muttonfish. Arthur’s father, Valerie’s grandfather danced on the waters edge to bring in the fish. When the fish came to shore he would spear them.
Valerie has worked in the Bodalla area and on Coopers Island picking peas and beans and ploughing fields. They lived in a house on Coopers Island and collected swan eggs from the area. Valerie also worked at the Narooma Cannery for two years. Valerie Andy and her husband, Bob Andy worked at Haxstead, near Tilba Lake. Pam and Harriett’s father, Arthur Thomas worked there also, milking cows, cleaning and building. Valerie has always lived at Wallaga Lake, as she does to this day.Excerpt from "Stories About the Eurobodalla by Aboriginal People", 2006. Story Contributed by Martin Ind from Moruya High School.