Politics

Aboriginal First, Woman Second – Part 2

We went to a settlement roughly 5 kilometres from inner-city Perth. Five vans had been donated by a mining company – with one toilet, one washing tub, one shower and one light to service all the families living in the vans. That visit above all was upsetting. The babies were sick. The adults showed such loss it is difficult to describe. They are terrorsed by police. The young women are raped; bashings are common. Just a little way through the scrub was a park area where the practising Klansmen bashed Aborigines to the point of death. I was devastated with what I saw. I met a woman about forty years old, who thought I could do something. If only I could. It was hard for her to understand I was there for my own interest, and was not connected to a higher power, or its messenger.

Politics

Aboriginal First, Woman Second – Part 1

… Health problems were, and remain, many. Heart disease, liver disorders, middle ear infection, malnutrition, alcoholism. Overcrowding in the ten small cottages well below standard was as high as twenty-five to one house – a conservative figure. The women were obviously the stronger of the two sexes. The families were kept together with the best know-how possible on the women’s part, but to see the hardship was saddening and frustrating. I was humbled on many occasions …

Biography, General, Source

There’s a Snake in My Caravan – Part 2

… 1972 had been an extremely traumatic year. Separated from my children, I was often in despair. When meetings closed, usually in the early hours of the morning, I was left alone to cry myself to sleep: no future, no place to go. Too ‘working-class’ proud to ask for charity, I fed the baby sugar-water while humourously describing my latest battle with welfare. During the first nine weeks I received only two $10.00 food vouchers. Few women at the meetings noticed. I understand, but still resent, the pressures put on me to ‘move on’. Three or four weeks is insufficient time for a woman in crisis to get back on her feet.