Mother’s belief that her community will prevail
Roebourne mother Camilia Samson knows about the problems her town faces.
She has heard stories of alcohol abuse, drug abuse and domestic violence.
She strongly believes anyone caught abusing children needs to be brought to justice.
But when asked where she would like to bring up her two young children, the answer was clear.
“Here in Roebourne, it is a smaller community and we got all our family around us helping one another, sharing in looking after our kids and making sure they are safe,” Mrs Samson said.
Sitting around a table for lunch last week, several local mothers talked about the lengths to which they and organisations went to make sure children arrived home safe.
It included mothers following children home and staff from groups such as the PCYC offering lifts after nights at the basketball courts. Mrs Samson does not believe her home town is as bad as some reports make it out to be or that people in Roebourne are out to harm kids.
“As a parent you do have that belief that things could happen to your kids . . . but it is a parent’s job to look after their kids and make sure they are safe,” she said.
“Saying Roebourne is a bad town, that children are getting abused, that is an outsider’s point of view. If it is going on in Roebourne, it has to stop.”
In the past few years, strides have been made in instilling a sense of community pride in Roebourne, a step most locals agree is critical to overcoming the problems plaguing the town.
Ngarluma elder Violet Samson said leaders in the community had been calling for action to protect children for too long.
“That’s what we were talking about in our elders’ yarn, to get somewhere safe for our children when the parents are drinking,” she said.
Camilia Samson and elder Violet Samson.