A Twinkle in her Eyes – Valda Hateley

IMG_4579 valda studio portrait

Teenage Valda. Studio portrait in Dimboola

Valda Constance Sharp was born (1927) and bred in Dimboola. Her life is imbued with a giving heart that makes her Christian faith an everyday reality and an example for all. Her thirst for learning and enthusiasm for living are also an inspiration! Now in her nineties, Valda recently rekindled her love for the French language by joining a French Speaking course at the U3A in Horsham.

She shared her life and memories with me a few weeks ago, and it is with great honour and pleasure that I am now presenting this audio interview and photo gallery to you.


Brigitte Muir

Photo Gallery

IMG_4553 dads school book

Valda’s papa, George Sharp was a very talented young boy. Here is a sample of his work as a 10 yo in his school book, 1907. Later, his creativity became more pragmatic, he used to mend all the family shoes.

IMG_4582 valda s dad

George Sharp, Valda’s father.

IMG_4587 valda and mum

Annie Victoria Reed with her daughter Valda in front of their house in Dimboola.

IMG_4562 school and french teacher

Dimboola Higher Elementary School, 1941. Valda is third from right, front row. Valda’s love for the French language was started by her teacher, Arthur Beaumont, top left corner.

IMG_4571 basketball team

Valda loved sport and physical exercise almost as much as her singing. Here she is ( Front row, first on right) with the Teachers College basketball team in 1946.


.. and enjoying a little synchronised swimming with her friends!

IMG_4591 courting

The Wimmera River held an important place in Valda’s life. Picnics and swimming, and when she met Neil Hateley, she shared her river with him as well.

IMG_4577 wedding

Neil and Valda were married on 9 October 1954 and moved to Neil’s parents farm on the Wimmera River near Quantong.

IMG_4596 preachers cert

Christianity has always held a major role in Valda’s life, from teaching religion to school children, singing in a church choir and writing poetry, to being a Preacher and Church Elder.

IMG_4566 family bible

The Sharp family Bible, passed down generations.