Aunty Venus' Story

Aunty Venus Rabbitt is an artist and storyteller who lives in Cherbourg. Her father was a Wakka Wakka storyteller and she learnt her storytelling and artistic skills from him.
About a year ago, Aunty Venus started having trouble seeing clearly due to cataracts on her eyes. She was referred to the IDEAS Van from the Cherbourg Regional Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Services for an assessment. Aunty Venus was then referred for cataract surgery at the Roma Hospital as part of the CheckUP funded surgery blitz which saw almost 60 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients have cataract surgery during three rounds of surgery.

Aunty Venus is delighted with the results. “Before the surgery I couldn’t see properly and it was confusing to paint. Going to Roma and getting my eyes done has made a big difference. I can see bright, bright colours now and it’s wonderful. I must have done about six paintings when I came home and it was wonderful. The staff at Roma Hospital  were really nice. You can’t ask for better doctors. They make you feel comfortable”.

When CheckUP staff visited Aunty Venus at her home in Cherbourg one month after her surgery, she was working on a new painting, Kangaroo Dreaming (pictured above), that depicts her father, grandfather and great grandfather.
“These three men mean a lot to me because they’re strong and they encouraged me with everything. People say I’m blessed with my art. It really means a lot to me. I’ve come a long way from drawing stick men with my grandfather”.
To find out more about the I.D.E.A.S van and Aunty Venus' story, view our Signature Story short film.