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I’m welling up with tears as I write this. I’m shoving random items at the baby to keep her happy long enough to get this down in words. I haven’t been writing much – I’ve got so much to fill you all in on! But today something extraordinary happened. Something life changing. My family found me. You recall my grandmother was removed as part of The Stolen Generation? She was the product of an encounter between a stockman and an Anangu woman and as a result, was somewhat fairer than her siblings. If you ever get the chance to read the Bringing Them Home report, do so. The atrocities that were committed in the name of the Government are numerous, and hideous. In some cases they would say “let us take this baby, or we will come back and take all of them (children)”. I suspect that’s what happened to my grandmother. I’ve been working at Tjala Art Centre (long story – fill you in later!) and here I was, Monday morning. It was a public holiday and the centre was quieter than normal. An Anangu woman with bright, dyed red hair, and a Malu Wipu (kangaroo tail) slung over one shoulder comes in just as I’m thinning out some paint for one of the Artists. “Your family is here – they’re looking for you”. I assumes she means my husband and the kids. I go outside and there’s a van full of Anangu there. “You wanted to find your family – they come here from Ayres Rock”. I’m confused. I don’t know how long I stood there – but it hit me suddenly. She was talking about the people in the van. THEY were my family. “This man here; he’s your grandmothers brother.” It occurred to me just then, that even though I had known my whole life that I’m an Aboriginal Woman, that sometimes I’ve questioned myself. But now I knew – I AM an Aboriginal Woman. “I was telling my mother about you, and she knew your grandmother! She said ‘ohhhh! We have to tell them she’s here!’ You come out to homeland later!” I looked at the old man – my great uncle – and I gasped inwardly. This man, my grandmothers brother, is the spitting image of my father. The same eyes, ears, face. Just older, and blacker! He looked at me with anguish and happiness. I saw the pain of having lost his baby sister, but the relief of meeting me etched into the many lines in his face. I’m not often speechless – but I was. And I started to cry. The elder women around me laughed! Not because they were laughing at me, but rather sharing in the joy and gravity of meeting my family after so long, a lifetime, 3 generations missing from their language and culture and families. I didn’t know what to say. I met everyone and drank it all in. These people had found me – just as people had told me they would. I was accepted by my family, by the old women around me, as an Anangu woman. And I’m still coming to terms with the enormity of that.

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8 thoughts on “Home

  1. Liz, I’m so happy for you! Enjoy meeting and knowing your family. Just think how important it is for your little ones xxxx

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