Debbie Long was a woman of commitment to her husband Chris and children Daniel, Emily and Matthew, her Aboriginal family, the education and welfare of students of Aboriginal background from the western suburbs of Sydney, and to the work and values of the IEU.
Debbie’s desire both to enjoy life and to improve lives, came clothed in a vivacious and fun personality with an easy ability to make friends, communicate and connect. Debbie was also a person with many talents, including artistic and sporting talents, and she loved going fishing!
I first met Debbie in her role as IEU Rep for the members at the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Jarara Indigenous Education Unit at Mt Druitt in western Sydney.
When Debbie came to the Penrith-Blue Mountains Sub-Branch meetings, she came in earnest for the members, but she also came with some great stories. As a storyteller, she was a natural and she put this to great effect at our Western Sydney Women’s Forum in 2016 with its focus on the work and education of Aboriginal women and girls in western Sydney.
Through a Yarning Circle Debbie spoke of her childhood in western NSW; her efforts to achieve a tertiary education to become a teacher; and her deep passion to improve the educational and social outcomes of those in her charge.