Susan Reys was born in Cairns, Queensland. Her connection to this country is through her birth and all of the precious memories growing up in Cairns.
Susan's parents are Diana nee Barnes Sweetland Coates, decendant of the Butchalla & Darraba people and Stephen Stanley Reys, a descendant of the Djirrribal people of Innisfail. Her family has lived in Cairns for five generations. Susan's grandmother Grace Sweetland Coates was born and raised on Yarrabah.
Susan is a descendant of the Badjala people of Fraser Island through her great grandmother and a Darraba woman through her great grandfather. She is a traditional owner of Darraba which is 50KM north of Hopevale on the banks of the Morgan River. Her Aboriginal name given to her is Dulin which means Owl. Her totems are the Dolphin and White Cockatoo.
Stories and messages were imprinted on rock surface or bark. Other stories were drawn in the sand not lost because these stories where retold and drawn again and again in the sand until the learning was understood and practiced in the living culture. Symbols within the design carried a message to instil behaviour and building character. She is privileged to know her family history & bloodline and to continue her people’s ancient tradition of painting and storytelling.