I had a really good day today; I spent the day with my family: My Grandmother, my Mother, my sister Daisy and my cousin Gracie.
We spent the day exploring our culture and learning about our tribal beliefs. My mother pointed out to me a bird flying over us and said “That a spirt bird, he will always look after you”. I can also remember tracking down a goanna by following its tracks, I picked it up and then we ate it later that day.
Today was a typical day for our family, always learning new survival skills and about our culture.
I have had a very exhausting and emotional day. Today what mother had feared might happen took place as we went to get our rations from the station, Police taking half caste Aborigines.
Today my sister Daisy, my cousin Gracie and I were taken in a car by a white police man, it was very frightening. We are now on a noisy train, very scared and in a hateful place, awaiting our arrival to the Moore river mission. I remember as we roared away in the police car, the helpless, heartbroken faces of mother and grandmother, and the fear in our own bodies. Their calls, screaming and cries for desperate help echoed in my head as we drove away from my home country, Jigalong. Daisy, Gracie and I clung to each other terrified and even more scared of the unknown. I feel responsible for Gracie and Daisy.
The Moore river inspection
Late last night we arrived at the Moore River mission and were made to go into a cabin to sleep, with only a bucket in the corner for the toilet. There were lots of Aboriginal girls like us that had been taken from their mothers and families.
Early this morning we were forced out of bed and made to make our beds and go outside. I asked the dormitory boss (Nina) what was going on and she told me that we are going to be inspected by a man called A.O Neville (Mr Devil) to see who is white enough to go to a normal school. We had to sit on a cold ground of dirt; Mr Devil called out a little boy and pulled up his shirt and after a pause said “NO”. Next he called my name, I was feeling very scared, I wanted to hide in the ground, Nina told me to go up or I would be locked in the “boob”, it sounded very frightening, I slowly made my way up to the front where he looked at my back and I was waiting for him to do something but all he did was say “NO”. Feeling relieved I made my way back to my position.
Daisy, Gracie and I really don’t like this place and really miss our mothers and want to get out of this place but if we leave, the tracker will find us and it a really long way back home to Jigalong. The Tracker looked directly at me after returning a runaway, his eyes very piercing as though he could see my spirit, and this put terror in me.
The lifesaving stop
It has been days since we escaped from the mission, we have been walking for days now on our way back home to our families. I have heard the tracker from Moore River is on to us.
Thanks to a very kind lady she gave us food, jackets and points us towards the rabbit proof fence that we are now following to jigalong. The girls and I have been finding the walk tiring; I have been giving piggy back rides every now and then. Today we came across a little house with an aborigine girl hanging washing on a line.
I decided to get her attention as she may have food to spare. As soon as I did she recognised us and begged us to stay the night. We later agreed to stay the night as she offered us food and a bed. Later that night I heard someone coming into the room we were hiding in, so we jumped into the bed and hid under the covers, a man walked in and pulled up the covers to get into bed but saw us and quickly walked out, when Mavis returned, she begged us to stay promising the white man wouldn’t return. Several hours later we awoken to a car and voices, we quickly gathered our stuff and ran