Introduction

60 seconds with Ruby

60 seconds with Ruby

Ruby

ASPIRE Photovoice Artist and Persistent Wonder Woman

What are you enjoying doing at the moment?
I am enjoying being part of the ASPIRE Photo Project. It has been an amazing experience and I have been very fortunate to work with some extraordinary women. This project has allowed me to come out of my shell and express myself in an artistic manner which I could never have imagined before now.

If you were a super-heroine, what powers would you like to have?
I would like to be Wonder Woman and use her Lasso of Truth on our politicians.

If you had a magic wand, what would you use it for?
I would use the wand to make the poor rich and the rich poor. Give the poor a chance to smile.

What is your best quality or attribute?
Persistence.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
I would like to be an architect/builder so that I could design and erect buildings that are sustainable, intuitive and inclusive.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone new to Australia, what would it be?
Respect and love yourself. And be persistent.

What is your favourite word in any language? Why?
‘Gaea’ is my favourite word. Gaea was a Primal Greek Earth Goddess that predates patriarchal religions. We cannot live without Mother Earth, she nourishes and sustains us, she wipes away our tears with her softness and doesn’t give us false impressions. When you look at nature you see the cycle of life and death. Gaea does not separate life from death, only humans do that.

Can you describe a time when you felt discriminated against as someone with an immigrant background?
Every single day when I was at primary school. I knew when I woke up in the morning I would be called a ‘wog’ at some point during the day. I would be excluded from playing games during break times because I was a wog. So, I would go to the oval and create my own tree house and guess what? Those who found it hard to play with a wog would come to the Wog’s Tree House and ask to be invited in.

If you could invite any woman (dead or living) to dinner tonight, who would it be?
My Beautiful Mother, who never gave up even when cancer invaded her body.

Tell me about an amazing woman you know.
Well, many moons ago my mother walked into the local Bakery in our quiet town and asked the man behind the counter, in her broken English, ‘I would like a split Vienna please.’ The man behind the counter said, ‘sorry we don’t have any.’ My mother pointed to the loaf on the top shelf thinking perhaps the man didn’t see it. The man behind the counter said, ‘I told you we don’t have any.’ My mother took my hand and walked out of the store.

The second week my mother walked into the bakery and asked, ‘I would like a split Vienna please.’ The man behind the counter said, ‘sorry we don’t have any.’ My mother pointed to the loaf on the top shelf. ‘I told you we don’t have any,’ said the man behind the counter. My mother took my hand and walked out of the store.

The third week my mother walked into the bakery and said, ‘I would like a split Vienna please.’ The man behind the counter said, ‘sorry we do not have any.’ My mother pointed to the loaf on the top self. ‘I told you we do not have any’ said the man behind the counter. Another customer spoke up and said, ‘Excuse me mate, there is a loaf on the top shelf.’ The man behind the counter placed the loaf in a paper bag, my mother paid like every other customer, took my hand and walked out of the store. This is how my tenacious mother taught me about persistence.