De­scen­dent of Stolen Gen­er­a­tion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

SORRY Day for Moss­man woman Jayne Fejo is more than ac­knowl­edg­ing the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion, it is about re­mem­ber­ing her fam­ily’s story.

As a de­scen­dant of the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion, Jayne de­scribes her fam­ily and her life grow­ing up as one of not be­long­ing.

‘‘As kids we do projects on fam­ily his­tory but mine stops at mum,’’ she said.

‘‘We were born to this coun­try, born to this land, but we can’t go past one gen­er­a­tion.

‘‘Al­though I was born and raised in Ade­laide, I was ad­vised by lo­cal Kau­rna peo­ple I was an in­truder on their land, I am not wel­come there but I wasn’t wel­come where I came from, be­cause I was not born there.’’

Jayne’s fam­ily story starts in 1945, in Daly River when her mother, then aged three, was re­moved from her fam­ily by the Govern­ment and even sep­a­rated from her twin brother, to stop them talk­ing ‘‘twin lan­guage’’, in the name of ‘‘as­sim­i­la­tion’’.

She was sent to Croker Is­land, near Dar­win be­fore be­ing moved to South Aus­tralia and in 1966 Jayne was born to her Abo­rig­i­nal mother and Dan­ish fa­ther, who worked away.

‘‘Mum tried to see me in the nurs­ery but they would ad­vise mum I was dead and there were no black ba­bies in the nurs­ery,’’ she said.

‘‘It wasn’t un­til dad came on the fourth day and said, ‘That is my child and that is her mum, she is al­lowed to see her’

‘‘If he had not come I would’ve been taken away.

‘‘ I don’t re­mem­ber dad and mum to­gether, I had a step-dad who was abu­sive, one time I was hos­pi­talised at 14, they took me away from my home be­cause of my con­nec­tion with my mum.’’

Au­thor­i­ties re­moved Jayne from her mother’s care and sent her to live with her fa­ther, who would spend two weeks away at a time for work.

Jayne de­cided last year to leave Ade­laide for Dar­win to find her fam­ily but ended up find­ing a hus­band and re­lo­cat­ing to Moss­man.

‘‘The only fam­ily I know are who mum con­sid­ers broth­ers and sis­ters, those raised on Croker Is­land in Dar­win,’’ she said.

Jayne’s mother man­aged to track down her twin brother but he had al­ready died, al­though she did meet his twin sons and in 1980 they found her mother.

‘‘ She was in a six- bed­room nurs­ing ward and she walked into the room and iden­ti­fied her mother af­ter 35 years apart and her mum recog­nised her,’’ Jayne said.

‘‘She said, ‘My baby is fi­nally home’ and passed away two weeks later.’’

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