Trevor Davis, now in his sixties, was born in Pingelly on the Reserve, on Wiilman Country, raised immersed in Culture under the care and guidance of this beloved grandmother. From a young age, Trevor learnt of difference as back then, Aboriginal People were not allowed in town, so Trevor grew up on the outskirts.
“… when you go out there, you forgot what the whitefella was doing to you because you’re meeting all your family. You’re with your cousins, your aunties and uncles and you don’t want to go into town anymore.”
Northam has been Trevor’s home for the last forty-odd years, originally moving to the town in the seventies because of his family and in pursuit of his future wife, Nancy Davis, whom he still shares a life with today. Trevor and Nancy have been married for over thirty-six years and have been together longer than that. They have five children together, two girls and three boys who have given them twenty-four grandchildren.
“… my wife Nancy, who has stood by my side on this journey. We have the strongest bond that has carried me and my children through all the ups and downs. You could say she is the very backbone of us walking through life. I love my children. I love my wife.”
Trevor and Nancy are respected Ballardong Ngoongar Elders and well-known figures around Northam. Trevor can be mistaken for his twin brother Frank who Trevor would say, ‘he’s the Trevor with the shorter beard’. Frank was raised by their Dad’s sister, ‘Aunty May’ from birth until her passing when the boys were nine or ten. This is when the boys, now Elders, first met and learnt they had a twin brother; they have been inseparable since. Trevor also has a younger brother in Bunbury and three sisters, one who is no longer with us and is missed dearly.
Trevor is guided by a strong connection to Culture passed down from his grandmother and supported by leaders in his family. His grandfather was the first Aboriginal person to run a PCYC in Yarloop before the town burnt down. A sign at the top of the door at the gym read “receive one but give two in return”, a principal Trevor lives by today, sharing his Cultural knowledge with his children and grandchildren after them and the broader Ngoongar community, as his responsibility as an Elder.
“It’s very important to teach the younger generation where they come from, so they’ll know where they’re going. Our young people need more male role models. I always tell the kids that if they see an old fella or an old lady in the park, go and ask their story. You’ll see that they’re closer to you than you think they are.”
Trevor is also an accomplished artist, drawing with sticks in the sand as young boy, moving to coloured sands and ochre as a teenager and eventually started painting on canvas when he was eighteen and has not looked back. Using his art as an expression of Culture and storytelling, his work is displayed all over the world.
In 2014, Trevor’s youngest son Robert Davis and daughter in-law Zoe Davis, established As One Nyitting Limited (AONL) under the guidance and Cultural authority of Trevor, to help the young people find their identity, reconnect to their Culture, and grow up as strong leaders in their families and communities. AONL creates and delivers multiple cultural programs and pathways for youth and families.
“We take them out bush and teach them their identity. We teach them who their grandfathers and great-grandfathers were and take them back to the land.”
Trevor facilitates his own cultural tours, Koorah Koorah Cultural Tours, as he seeks to guide you through his lifetime journey to discover your pathway across the heart of the Wheatbelt. Capturing the true essence of country, Koorah Koorah celebrates culture with all: students, business teams and families, through a four-hour experience, full day, or overnight stay. Trevor shares an authentic cultural experience on country and speaks to what it means to be connected to land, waterways, animals, and people.
“The most important piece of advice I’d give my children/family is that when you say you’ll do something, that’s your word. Make your word the most powerful thing on you.”