Welcome from Aunty Gloria
Click on the play button to listen to Aunty Gloria’s welcome.
Baladhu Dindama, Wiradjuri Ginimaldhaany. Gawambaana Nginhagu Ngurang Bu Bala Marra dha Winhangarra Bu Cassie's Giilang!
I am Dindima, Wiradjuri Elder. Welcome to this place and to hear, think, listen and be touched by Cassie's story!
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Extract from the Report of IHEAC's 2007 Annual Conference, Ngapartji Ngapartji Yerra.
About this site
This resource aims to build knowledge of Indigenous culture and cultural diversity and to encourage an awareness and understanding of the diversity of Australia's Indigenous people's cultures and societies. Vital to this is an understanding of the historical factors that contribute to the disadvantaged position of Australia's Indigenous peoples in contemporary Australian society. In recognizing and understanding the impact of current policies and practices and how these impact on contemporary circumstances of Australia's Indigenous peoples it is hoped that people's skills will be enhanced in their chosen area of professional practice. Integral to this is the reflection of your own values and attitudes and how this effects your profession.
The idea is to listen to Cassie's story, Dyan Ngal, and click the hot spots to get more information and then to go back to the resources both within the story and in the Resources section of this site to investigate what you may need to increase your awareness. The Resources section also has a link to listen to the full version of Cassie’s Story and a link to access the full transcript of the audio.
Getting around this site
The navigation at the top of this Home page directs you through this site. Please go to the How to Use link for further useful navigation and technical requirement information to help you in your use of this site.
How To Use This Site
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The navigation at the top of the page directs you through this site. You could start by engaging with the Pre Quiz and then you can start your journey by selecting the Story link.
When you are in the Story section of this site the scene pager is located in the lower left-hand corner of the viewing area. Use this pager to jump to a specific scene. You can also progress via the arrows to the left and right of the viewing area. Within each scene you will find:
- A link to play the audio for each scene
- Hot spots of resources for you to engage with
- The transcript of the audio for each scene if required
You can also access all the resources provided within each scene of the story in one place by going to the Resources link. When you have completed the story and accessed the resources you may wish to gauge your progress by accessing the Post Quiz. You can also access a full audio file and a full transcript of Cassie's story, Dyan Ngal in the Resources section. You can also provide feedback on your learning experience and on ways we can improve the resource by clicking on the Feedback icon.
Links that you will find within this site:
- Pre Quiz /Post Quiz
- The entire transcript (PDF)
The questions and content in Cassie’s Story are not meant to cause any undue distress. If you do find them distressing, please contact Student Central on 1800 275 278 to make an appointment to talk with a counsellor.
Listen to the whole story
Listen to all six scenes of Cassie’s Story: Dyan Ngal
Download the entire transcript
Click here to download the transcript (PDF).
Click here to provide feedback.
Scene 1: “They never ask us”
Scene 2: “Breaking down of things that keeps us together”
Scene 3: “That wailing at night… used to disturb the spirits”
Scene 4: “You got to pull yourself together and get out of here”
Scene 5: “Mum is my rock. She’s not good. Her health’s bad.”
Scene 6: “It’s all gone bad… Real bad…”
Australian Policy Online. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Explores Indigenous culture and issues relating to health, housing, education, policy, law, reconciliation and remote communities.
The Lowitja Institute. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Australia's National Institute for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Research
An overview of the Stolen Generations. Youtube clip. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
‘Australian Aboriginal genocide’. Youtube clip. Retrieved April
Took the Children Away’ with music by Aboriginal musician Archie Roach.
Youtube clip. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
‘Brown Skin Baby (They Took Me Away)’ by Bob Randall. Youtube clip.
Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report (1997). Report of the National
Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their
Families. Chapter 10: Children’s Experiences. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report (1997). Report of the National
Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from
Their Families. Chapter 11 Bringing Them Home Report – The Effects. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Apology Speech to the Stolen Generations, 2008. Youtube
clip (3.13 mins). Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Response to the Prime Minister’s Sorry Speech by Tom Calma, Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Social Justice and Human Rights Commissioner, Human Rights
and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC). Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Short audiovisual clip ‘Australia says Sorry to the Stolen Generations’.
Youtube clip (10.02 mins). Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Contains history, personal Interviews, footage from Australian supporters and Apology Speech by Kevin Rudd.
- The Stolen Generation. Youtube clip (0.55 mins). Retrieved April 12, 2011;
A brief overview of Australian Aboriginal history and the removal of Aboriginal children...known as the stolen generation.
- Australian Aboriginal Genocide. Youtube clip (6.17 mins). Retrieved April 12, 2011;
A short video about the historical genocide against Australian Aboriginals.
- Australian Government. Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report 2011. Retrieved, November 26, 2013 from;
- Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies (2006). A The Companion to Tasmanian History, Aboriginal Life Pre invasion. Retrieved April 12, 2011; http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/A/Aboriginal%20life%20pre-invasion.htm
University of Wollongong (1997). Illawarra Aborigines: An Introductory history, Pages 1-7. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Australasian Legal Information Institute. Indigenous law Resources reconciliation and Social Justice Library - Royal Commission of Inquiry into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, The Importance of History, Vol, 1. 1.4 (1 page). Retrieved April 12, 2011.
Roberts, D.A. (2003). Aborigines, Commandants and Convicts: The Newcastle penal Settlement. Retrieved November 26, 2013;
- Blyton, G. (2003). Dispossession and Violence: A Brief Note on the Newcastle-Lake Macquarie region in the 1820s-1830s. Retrieved November 26, 2013;
The Department of Indigenous Affairs, Government of Western Australia. Partnership Acceptance Learning Sharing. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Aboriginal culture. Traditional Life - an overview of traditional life. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Social and emotional wellbeing (including mental health)
- Garvey, D. (2008). A review of the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australian peoples – considerations, challenges and opportunities. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
A review conducted by Garvey to describe aspects of the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australian people and elements of the Australian contexts in which they live. Available from the Indigenous HeathInfoNet website funded by the Department of Health & Aging.
- LIFE Communications. Indigenous Youth suicide statistics. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Overview of Indigenous youth suicide by LIFE Communications. LIFE Communications is a National Suicide Prevention Strategy project managed by Crisis Support Services on behalf of the Department of Health and Ageing.
- Tatz, C. (1999). Aboriginal suicide is different: Aboriginal youth suicide in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand: towards a model of explanation and alleviation. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Full report by Professor Colin Tatz about Aboriginal Youth suicide in New South Wales funded by the Criminology Research Council, July 1999.
Culture and Community
- The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA). Chapter Two: Aspects of Traditional Aboriginal Australia, 2.1-2.27. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA) is a research and educational institute associated with Monash University. This chapter provides discusses aspects of traditional Aboriginal Australia including spirituality, social organisation, kinship system, culture and customs, law, and ceremony and rituals.
- Australian National Film & Sound Archives (2005). Loved Up – Lore of Love 2005. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
The skin system of Indigenous culture is core to the whole, for through the skin system, bloodlines are kept and strengthened, and the responsibility to land and place are managed. The passing on of this knowledge is what makes any discussion about love, in the Indigenous cultural context, loaded with responsibility, rather than the frivolity represented by popular culture. This documentary is a poetic account of the serious fun of love.
- Film Australia. Australians at work – Indigenous. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
- Australasian Legal Information Institute. Understanding Country – Owning and caring for Country. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Spirituality and The Dreaming
- Central Land Council. Kinship and Skin names from Central Australia. Retrieved November 26, 2013;
- Dust echoes: Ancient Stories, New Voices. Retrieved 26 November 2013;
- Sharing our Stories: ABC’s Awaye program presents audio. Retrieved 26 November 2013;
Deaths in custody
- Australasian Legal Information Institute. National Report Volume 2 - 10.3 The dispossession of Aboriginal People. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
- Australasian Legal Information Institute. National Report Volume 2 - 10.4 The frontier period: Disease and Violence. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
- Australasian Legal Information Institute. National Report 2 - 14.4 The Reasons for Offending. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
- Australian Human Rights Commission. Deaths in Custody 1989 – 1996. A Report prepared by the Office of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission October 1996. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Juvenile Justice, Circle sentencing
- Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report (1997). Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families. Part 6 Chapter 24 - Juvenile Justice. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
- Comparing sentencing outcomes for Koori and non-Koori adult offenders in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (April 2013). Retrieved November 25, 2013;
- Sentencing of Indigenous Women (2012). Retrieved November 25, 2013;
- Beranger, B., Weatherburn, D., & Moffatt, S. (2010). NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics & Research (2010). Reducing Indigenous contact with the court system. Issue No 54. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
- Department of Health & Aging. Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (2010). Retrieved April 12, 2011;
http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/uploads/docs/summary_09.pdf (16 pages)
- Department of Health & Aging. Australian Indigenous. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Exploration of Indigenous health issues at the Australian Indigenous HeathInfoNet website funded by the Department of Health & Aging.
- Butler, T., Allnutt, S., Kariminia, A., & Cain, D. (2007). Mental health status of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian prisoners. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 41(5), 429 – 435. Retrieved November 26, 2013;
- McGlade, H., & Hovane, V. (2007). The Mangolamara Case: Improving Aboriginal Community Safety and Healing. Indigenous Law Bulletin, 18. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
- Australian Government Productivity Commission (2009). Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage, Chapter 7: Healthy lives. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Gary Banks, Chairman's speech - Are we overcoming Indigenous disadvantage? Presented as the third lecture in Reconciliation Australia's 'Closing the Gap Conversations' Series, National Library, Canberra, 7 July 2009.
- Gray, D., & Wilkes, E. (2010). Reducing alcohol and other drug related harm. Resource sheet no. 3 produced for the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse.
- Australian Institute of Health (2011). Dental health of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory: findings from the Closing the Gap Program. Cat. no. IHW 41. Canberra: AIHW. Retrieved March 23, 2011 from:
- DEEWR (2011). Overview of DEEWR response to closing the gap in education. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) commitment to the Australian Government's goal of reducing Indigenous disadvantage and to reconciliation between Indigenous and other Australians.
- Kearney E., Perry, B., & Dockett, S. (2010). School readiness: what does it mean for Indigenous children, families, schools and communities? Closing the Gap Clearinghouse. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
- Partington, G. (2003). Why Indigenous issues are an essential component of Teacher Education Programs. AJTE, 27(2). Retrieved November 26, 2013;
- Philemon C. (2010). Accommodating Indigenous students' cultural resources in science classrooms. Retrieved February 17, 2010 from;
- United Nations (2007). United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
This is the 2007 Declaration on the rights of Indigenous People from the United Nations.
- Australian Human Rights Commission (2003). Social justice and human rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples Information sheet.Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Outlines Social justice and human rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
- Australian Human Rights Commission. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
The Australian Human Rights Commission advocates for the rights of Indigenous Australians.
- Australian Human Rights Commission (2010). The Community guide to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Retrieved November 26, 2013;
- Flood J. (2006). The original Australians: story of the Aboriginal People: Allen & Unwin: Crows Nest, N.S.W. Chapter 8 Resilence, 260 -264. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
- Co-operative Research Center for Aboriginal Health (2006). Stories of Hope and Resilience: Using New Media and Storytelling to Facilitate ‘Wellness’ in Indigenous Communities. CRCAH Project No. SE305. Retrieved April 12, 2011;
- SNAICC (2009). Talking up our strengths. Images of strengths and resilience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Retrieved November 26, 2013;
Images of strengths and resilience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Inc. The Funded by SNAICC Resource Service is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).
Dispossession/Forced relocation of communities
- Aboriginal Education Board of Studies NSW. Invasion and Resistance Kit – Timeline. Retrieved November 26, 2013;
- Australian Museum. Indigenous Australia Timeline – 1500 to 1900. Retrieved November 26, 2013;
- Generation One. Indigenous timeline 1970 – Present: Australian Museum. Retrieved November 26, 2013;
- Collis, P. (2009). Your voice - “Where have all the flowers gone?” Retrieved April 12, 2011;
Opinion piece by Paul Collis on ABC Online 20 January 2009.
We would like to acknowledge the work and contribution of the following people:
- Aunty Gloria Dindima Rogers, Wiradjuri Elder
- Ms Wendy Nolan, Acting Director Centre for Indigenous Studies, CSU
- CSU Division of Learning and Teaching Services staff:
Ms Elise Hull, Indigenous Resources Officer; Mr Brian Wells, Mr Tony O’Neill, Mr Jade Flynn and Mr Ryun Fell
- Educational Design & Media. Educational design work and developmental assistance is attributed to Mrs Linda Ward, Mrs Lynn Flynn, Ms Elise Hull and Ms Kate Rose
- The original concept for the resource comes from the work Ms Wendy Nolan is involved with around Cultural Competence training and the case studies she uses.
- The script was written by Dr Barbara Hill in consultation with Ms Elise Hull, Ms Wendy Nolan and Aunty Gloria Dindima Rogers.
- Some incorporated scenery shots have come from photos taken by Mr Ryun Fell in Barkandji country and permission for their use has been given by Aunty Beryl Philip Carmichael (Yungha- dhu), Ngyampa/Barkandji Elder.
- In addition the following people have contributed in kind and
professionally to the development of this resource :
Dr Jane Mills, Ms Kate Smith as Director, Mr Patrick McNamara - members of the School of Communication and Creative Industries, CSU; and Dr Jillene Harris from the School of Psychology, CSU.
Users of Cassie‘s Story: Dyan Ngal should be aware that they may be linked to resources which contain images and voices of deceased persons which can cause sadness and distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and offend against strongly held cultural prohibitions.
Discussion of Youth Suicide and the Forced Removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children.
“Social Justice is what faces you in the morning. It is awakening in a house with an adequate water supply, cooking facilities and sanitation. It is the ability to nourish your children and send them to school where their education not only equips them for employment but reinforces their knowledge and appreciation of their cultural inheritance. It is the prospect of genuine employment and good health: a life of choices and opportunity, free from discrimination.” (Annual Report of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, 1993, AGPS, Canberra).
Social justice and human rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples Information sheet:
Until relatively recently, the history of post-invasion contact between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples was written by the victor and generally presented a picture of peaceful European settlement of a largely uninhabited continent. Since the late 1960s more historically accurate recordings of history have been published by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal authors which has allowed the development of greater understanding of the impact of the processes and practices of colonisation which are intimately linked to the breakdown of Aboriginal cultural structures.
Education plays a major role in the socialisation of children and young adults and is one of the principle means by which the cultural norms and values of a society are transmitted from one generation to the next. The history of Aboriginal education since colonisation has largely been based on the ideologies of Social Darwinism and revolved around the twin European policies of ‘civilising’ and ‘Christianising’. Western education was used to negate the culture, language and identity of Indigenous children while access to education for Indigenous students prior to the 1960s was restricted and limited to the development of rudimentary skills and knowledge deemed appropriate for positions of domestic and rural servitude. As this and other resources will show, the legacies of such policies and practices for Indigenous Australian people today are many.
Suicide among Australia's Indigenous population is significantly higher than the general Australian population. Estimates suggest that, in some years, the suicide rate for Indigenous people in specific communities is as much as 40% higher than that for the Australian population as a whole. Over the past 30 years Indigenous suicide has increased, with young Indigenous males being the most at risk.
Culture and Community
The term ‘The Dreaming’ is an anthropological translation of the Aranda concept of altrjiranga ngambakala and is commonly used today to describe the rich, subtle and all encompassing spiritual belief system that forms the foundation of Aboriginal cultures and provides answers to the universal questions of humankind including, What is the purpose and meaning of life? How did we get here? How did the plants, animals, land and water come to be? Are we here for a reason? What is our destiny, as individuals, communities and as humankind as a whole? The Dreaming unites people to people, and people to land, plants, animals and the cosmos in a spiritual relationship which transcends the earthly realm to create a world in which all life is sanctified.
Spirituality and Dreaming
The Ancestors of the Dreaming could take the form of human and animals, birds, fish and reptiles and as they moved around the landscape they created Dreaming tracks and places of varying degrees of sacredness. When children are conceived, they are imbued with the spiritual essence of the Dreaming Ancestor whose spiritual essence lies in that location and are subsequently related to all other people with that totem across Australia. In this way, each person belongs to a totem or shares the same spiritual essence as their Ancestral being and all the places, songs, stories, rituals and art that belong to that particular Dreaming Ancestor and become custodians of those sacred places, ceremonies, songs, art and stories because they are a part of them.
“The juvenile justice system provides the linchpin for the criminalisation and removal of a new generation of Indigenous children and young people [from their families]. The reasons for this intervention can be linked to a number of specific factors relating to policing and the administration of justice, as well as the interaction of the many underlying social and economic issues which are likely to spark intervention” (Bringing Then Home Report, 1997:540).
The Royal Commission determined from its inquiries that Aboriginal children and juveniles, like Aboriginal adults, experience prejudice at all levels of the criminal justice system. However, Indigenous children and youth are detained at a rate twice that of adults and generally receive longer detention sentences than adults for most offences.
“In 2005-06, Indigenous males and females were almost twice as likely to be hospitalised for mental and behavioural disorders as other Australians. In terms of specific disorders, the rates of hospitalisation in 2005-06 for Indigenous people diagnosed with 'mental disorders due to psychoactive substance use' were 4.5 times higher for Indigenous males than for other Australian males and 3.3 times higher for Indigenous females than for other Australian females” (Darren Garvey, 2008).
“By virtually every test on the range of usually accepted social indicators such as rates of unemployment, rates of custody, rates of infant mortality, life expectancy, household income and other indicators, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities are now, and have been in the past, at a serious disadvantage. This disadvantage arises because of the long-term failures by Commonwealth, State, Territory and local governments to ensure that Indigenous individuals and communities have access to their citizenship rights. Governments have maintained the process of subordination through their policies and strategies in responding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s calls for justice and greater control over their lives” (Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, 1995:26-27).
See Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice:
Scene One Transcript
I need to talk to someone. Anyone. Anyone who’ll listen.
I’ve just come from a community meeting and all hell broke loose. I can’t stand what’s happening. It feels like it’s all happening again. In the end Auntie Ev had a real bad fit, she was so upset. Ambulance came and took her. Her diabetes is playin’ up. But she wasn’t the only one crying. Uncle Mervin was full on in tears and he just kept saying, “Why don’t they ever ask us? They never ask us!”
That just started up the others then…the ones who had been moved before… on the trucks…way back. And everyone started wailing and crying and shouting until all the kids started and then in the end we was all crying just sitting in the hall, crying…
Thing is… we like our homes and now they want to move us to the other side of town… Funny thing is we were moved here from another part of town… then all the whitefellas came for work and they spread out and didn’t want us in their backyards, so they moved us along… Uncle says that is what they did there three times on the mish too. Just kept moving us… moving us on. Herding us up and moving us on. One of the Aunts got feisty after a while stood up and said; “We need to fight this… no one’s gonna make me leave!” She yelled, “I like living here”. That’s when someone... don’t know who that was yelled back, “They’ll make us you know… they just give us two weeks’ notice and board up the houses just like they did last time. What choice you got heh? Them council fellas and property developers don’t care about what you want.”
Scene Two Transcript
See there’s a bit more too it… It’s not just moving us. It is the breaking down of things that keep us together. Like the safe house for the mums and kids and the community centre where I use to do homework… Where we met for the meeting today… they have a computer in there and all. Us kids used it for homework… But even the old Uncles and Aunts get in there sometimes and have a go and some mob type up job applications and things for Centre Link and the courts there too… They also did the handouts for bubba boy’s funeral on that computer. It looked real flash with a photo of him and all.
His was the fourth death in three weeks. He just got out of juvie. Don’t know what happened in there but something happened to him…something real bad… they found him hanging off his father’s verandah. His brother had to cut him down… now everyone’s worried about him cause the other two before bubba boy came so close together …they was related too. It happens in patterns in family. When the mental health workers came in they called it ‘generational trauma’.
Scene Three Transcript
Goes back to them that was stolen too. Still the old Aunts cry about that − most of those never came back… we never knew what happened to them. Sometimes one will be found or we’ll find them … but it is always hard and the coming back is hard for everyone… …even those that stayed behind. That’s why this moving gets people so upset. It reminds the ones who lived on the mish how it happened. Mobs being herded up in the middle of the night… Children being given to Aunts and Uncles, thinking they’d all be going to the one place but then, in the light of day, realising that didn’t happen and wouldn’t happen. They never saw some of ‘em ever again. Thought they were dead of something. Sometimes they got told that.
Nana Clara used to talk to me about it… “That wailing at night when that happened,” she said, “used to disturb the spirits.”
Nan was taught by an old law woman, a magic woman who picked her out of the group of girls. She saved the old Aunt from falling into the fire one night, when the old Aunt was lighting her little pipe, and from then on she showed her things. First, she said, “It was small things like bush tucker where the yams and flowers were.” Then it was the medicines, how to prepare them, and what words to say.”
Got to get some sleep now. Big day tomorrow. I gotta go to court.
Scene Four Transcript
I wish I had a job to go to instead of court. I'm sick of it really. It’s just a bond I broke when I got caught stealing some things from the local shops. Don’t know why I did it really for all the hassle it got me in.
The Elders gave me a good talkin’ to. “Cassie,” they said, if you don’t wake up to yerself, you are heading for the big house, my girl, and we got too many of our people in their already. 'Bout time you made something of yerself. Maybe got yerself an education or something; did some work for the CDEP or helped with the Community Centre… you need to do something to make your mother proud. You know how hard it is for her. How is what you are doing helpin’ her?”
Those Elders are harder to face than any old mate judge I can tell you and I got to see ‘em every day. Don’t know what is going to happen today – mum is real worried I’ll end up in juvie like my brother and my cousin. She says, “Cassie you got to pull yerself together and get out of here. Get out of this town.” She wants to send me to live with my Uncle.
Scene Five Transcript
I don’t like the idea of moving… moving anywhere. I’d miss my mob too much… miss my friends… I’d miss mum.
Mum is my rock. She’s not good. Her health’s bad. Her sugars play up and she’s tired all the time and she keeps going when she should rest…she works real hard… then she’s worried about my brother… he’s not coping being locked up… and he’s real angry… and sometimes he takes it out on her. I hear her crying some nights.
One of my friends is thinking of going to Uni she says. She reckons she’s going to do Early Childhood and work with the kids. She stayed at school see, not like me… I was off in Year 8… just couldn’t cope with it… I felt out of place… too black… for all ‘em white fellas. She says you can go to Uni if you go do Year 12 at TAFE or you're older. I just turned 17 see. Rhonda, my friend, she’s been working in the childcare centre next to the community centre and she says it is really good what they do there. They teach the kids, cook for them and feed them. And, they have great play equipment and books. Things we never had.
She said, “You should do it Cassie.” She reckons I’d be good at it.
But I don’t know. She kinda looks out for me…don’t know what I’d do without her really… Maybe I’ll talk with the social worker… For a gubba she’s okay. She says I got great skills and all I need to do is develop ‘em. Don’t know what she means half the time though. She says some counseling would be good for me but… I am too shame to do that. Anyway, I don’t like digging up the past too much.
Mum says I got to look good for court. “Respectable,” she says. I hope it turns out ok. I’m packin’ it really. I wish I never took those coloured pencils; Don’t know… just wanted to give ‘em to the twins next door – things are hard for ‘em with the all the drinking that goes on there.
Scene Six Transcript
It’s all gone bad… Real bad… They bulldozed the safe house today. They boarded up the community centre. Now they talk like they are gonna move the child care centre into town… It’s won some award… Rhonda’s been crying too… One of the old Uncles got some papers in the mail this morning that says he has to move in two weeks to this other part of town. If he don’t they’ll evict him. He cried, Rhonda told me, when he got them papers. She said, “He doesn’t know anyone over there.”
Mum’s crying. She’s having a lie down. Court went ok but we have to find some money for another bond. We don’t have any money, but. So looks like I’ll have to go into juvie for a while. Maybe it will be good for me. Who knows? I suppose things will get better. After Rhonda and I had a good cry, we had a good laugh too. One thing about us mob… bad things have happened so much you have to laugh... But things don’t change really. Just the same thing and a different day.