My family’s journey is but one of thousands of similar travels and travails undertaken by Stolen Generations’ members and their descendants. I follow in the footsteps of my grandparents – Bessie and Joe Senior; my father – Joe, and through the determined efforts of my mother, Dorothy, to ensure my father was reunited with his/our family. It is because of them – all gone now - that I have been able to undertake my journey, to work out where ‘home’ is for me.
In addition to Aboriginal resistance, key reasons given for voting ‘No’ at the 1998 referendum included ... inadequate information and understanding about statehood, inadequate consultation, concerns about the Constitutional Convention process, a lack of trust in those responsible for the statehood processes of 1998, and antagonism towards the Chief Minister and politicians.
That head stockman and my father had a good go in the yard. He wanted to beat my father but my father been too good for him. After my father knocked that bloke out he got a rope and jammed that bloke in the bronco panel – made that head stockman squeal. (laughs) My father and I pulled out from there. Got his swag, put me in the saddle-bags and we went walking towards Larrimah way.
I’d only just purchased a brand new bloody Valiant Safari and I decided that I prefer to have a truck than a Safari because the coppers were giving me a bad time at the club. A Detective, who later became an Inspector, told me straight out “We aren’t gonna tolerate having a Communist running a place like this. We’ll have you out of here in 12 months.” The writing was on the wall so I swapped over and I bought the Bedford for the reserve price and I’ve had it ever since. We set out early the following morning and managed to get south of the Willeroo turnoff where we camped for the night. The road from Willeroo to Wave Hill was in the process of being rebuilt with a major upgrade under the Federal Government’s National Beef Road development scheme. We crawled along most of the way between 15 and 20 m.p.h.