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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Appointment (02/09/12)

TITLE: Beware the Black Suits and Shiny Cars
By Helen Curtis
02/16/12


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I was going to write a story about a stolen generation.

I was going to imagine the heart-wrenching agony of having your children forcibly removed from your care by well-meaning white Christian men, their black suits speckled with the ochre-red dirt of your home.

I was going to describe the feelings of the children, thrown into shiny black cars and driven away from mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers.

I was going to address the life-long implications of looking out of the rear window and seeing your mother pelting the road with her bare hands, screaming for your return. Of being forced to forget everything you've learnt, your culture and language and history, gone, beaten out of you until you resemble a "good little white boy or girl," and are 'fit' to join in with society. The pain of never knowing your parents, your kin, your heritage.

I was going to... but no matter how hard I try to imagine, I just can not do them justice. How can I, a white Australian mother living in this era, possibly begin to imagine the depth of emotional and mental anguish these precious Australians sufferred for almost a century, beginning in the late 1800s?

I suppose in their defence, these men and women thought the role of their appointment as "Native Welfare Officers" was to save the children of mixed heritage, to give them more than they would ever receive from their perceivably poverty-stricken families; an education, a faith in God, civility and 'proper' lodgings. Never mind love. That was unimportant.

They thought they were acting in the best interest of the children.

They thought they would be remembered in history as saviours of the Aboriginal race.

They thought wrong.

~~~~~

"I had never seen my mother in my life. My life in the Christian mission completely cut my ties to her. It did not even let me know who she was, let alone tell me if she missed me. I did not know that my mother was an Aboriginal mother." No name supplied.(1)



(1) Read more: http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/politics/stolen-generations-stories.html#ixzz1mY6TmKIx


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This article has been read 360 times
Member Comments
Member Date
annie keys02/16/12
WOW; This is a powerful piece of writing! The emotion can be felt in every word. Well done, very well done!
Danielle King 02/17/12
WOW! Powerful stuff. Thought provoking and emotional.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/19/12
Wow this had me trembling. It also made me realize how ignorant I am about the world around me. At first, I had a hard time seeing the topic, but after thinking about it, I realized the "do-gooders" believed they were appointed by God to save the world, much like Hitler appointed himself in charge of keeping races pure. How sad. I am eager to earn more about this and will definitely check your link.
Kathleen Langridge02/19/12
i first learned of this scar on Australia's history (every nation has them) watching the film 'Australia' with Nicole Kidman. A wrenching piece of writing. I would imagine the emotions invoked and evoked are spot on.
Camille (C D) Swanson 02/19/12
Brilliant execution of the topic with this compelling and moving story. You managed to bring us to the "moment in time" when these abominable actions took place.

Thank you for this riveting piece. God Bless you~
Allison Egley 02/19/12
Oh, this is excellent. Short, but what a story you tell in these few words! Great job!
Donna Wilcher02/19/12
Heartbreaking story! Amazingly told! Thanks for sharing it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/23/12
Congratulations for ranking 19th overall!