Yaama Lesley!

Can you tell us who your mob are? “Barkindji, and Dunghutti / Gamilaroi / Bundjalung”

Can you tell us the Traditional owners of the land you live on? “Dhungutti”

Lesley can you tell us a bit about yourself and your Coota Survivor?

” I have been with my Grandmother, Aunty Doreen Webster, most of my life.

What I have seen and how she has shared her story – is that it is very heartbreaking.

When Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister, she didn’t want to go Canberra, we watched it over the TV, and she sat there and cried; he was the first Prime Minister to say sorry to the Stolen Generations.

I cry with her.

My Grandmother is very passionate about family. I believe family who have Stolen Generations Survivors, they really need to understand and hold family close. But some people don’t understand. Very important to link up with family.

My Grandmother, she is on Country now – Wilcannia. I went out with her once. She took me where she got taken.

She never met her mother – her mother passed away when she was stolen.

The stories she told me from Country, her running through the bush barefoot in red dust, sitting on the Barker/Darling River on the rocks, she would sit and wait for the fish to come past, catching the fish by hand. It was a healing experience for me to go with her. The family in Wilcannia all love her dearly.”

Always Was, Always Will Be. recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

What does this mean to you as a Stolen Generations descendant? What are your hopes for First Nations people’s futures?

“NAIDOC week is important to me, but I get very upset that they don’t do more for Stolen Generations.

There are Aunties and Uncles still trying to find their families.

My hopes for the future is more healing. Respect our elders no matter what colour. The hurt they been going through for all the years, there is so much trauma. They need that healing. My hope is that the Government help them get to their families and heal.

We do exist, it’s running through our veins.”