Blue Haven Illawarra | Seniors Week 2023 – Storytelling Interview with Val Brunker
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Seniors Week 2023 – Storytelling Interview with Val Brunker

It’s Seniors Week! To mark the occasion, we sat down for a storytelling interview with Val Brunker, a Blue Haven Seaside Group client and active member in the Kiama community.

Val, who lives in Minnamurra, tells us about her life growing up in the 1940s, “Life was really easy. It was a great life. You could go out. You could go tad poling. You could do all these sorts of things. Growing up, I had a really good young life. It was just free and easy. You could walk the streets at night, anytime, and things like that. It was lovely. It was a nice time”.

Val said her family would visit Kiama every year and “bring the caravan down and stop at the Blowhole Caravan Park. We bought a nice big van and had it updated and as soon as school broke up, we’d bring the van down for six weeks, take it back before school would go back. So, we’d spend all the school holidays down here. We loved it,” said Val.

“And we went into Minnamurra one day, my daughter was out with one of her friends. The highway used to come straight past Minnamurra, so you didn’t stop there. But one day, we went looking for her, and it was a perfect day. And if you’ve ever been to Minnamurra on a perfect day, it’s beautiful! And the next day, I said, “I’m going to live here one day.”

“So, we started building down here. It was the best thing we’d ever done! I loved the river. Right up near the mouth. It’s beautiful! I used to live in that river. So much so, that they used to call me “The River Lady!” I even got a letter once addressed to the “River Lady!” I’d swim in it, and I had a little boat. And I’d be fishing there every day. So, they all got to know me. It was nice. It was great! It was a lovely time,” she says.

Val was also the impetus behind establishing netball in Kiama in the early 1980s. In fact, the Kiama Netball Association is named after Val. It’s called the Val Brunker Centre.

For the full storytelling interview click here: Val Brunker


7th Feb 2023



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