St Margaret's News June 2017 - Page 6

Cause to

ln the years 1974-1976 , the Kelly family lived in a small NSW / QId border town called Goodooga , where John was Principal of a central school with an over 95 % indigenous enrolment . Susan was six and a half years old when they left . When she was 18 in Yr12 she wrote this piece for the 1988 Bicentenary . It was actually then published in St . Margaret ' s News .
When we recently found it in a drawer we asked Sue to comment now on Her recollections , especially in view of recent Aboriginal concerns re the Constitution .
CAUSE TO CELEBRATE ( The original piece )
- Pam and John Kelly
There was a time when I considered it a disadvantage to be white . Most of my friends were black and this seemed to allow them to have the time of their lives . They were carefree ; they didn ’ t have to wear shoes to school ; they got to camp out by the river every night . Of course , I was very young – and living in a town where whites were the minority , but I clearly remember how much those kids were loved and cared for . The entire aboriginal community was as one large sprawling family .
At six , I thought the world lay at their toasted brown feet . In a fleck on the map where television was rare , and consisted of a crackling and snowy A . B . C ., we made our own entertainment . Apart from playing house under the water tanks , the river was a great place to swim and fish under parental supervision . I remember by my friends ’ earthiness . Their coloured skin could easily have been a permanent layer of dust ; they seemed an intrinsic part of the land . Though I never thought of them as being dirty .
Many aboriginals lived in town , and there was another , more ‘ civilised ’ reserve apart from the group of corrugated iron shelters by the river . But it was the ‘ river people ‘ who captivated my attention . That river was the vein of the town , and they knew how to sap its strength ; but it wasn ’ t something physical .
I ’ ve been told about the drunks who were gaoled just about every night of the week ( and their white counterparts who were left to roam the streets ). That isn ’ t what I remember . I ’ ve also heard that children ’ s impressions are invaluable .
They were a mystical lot to me , and I ’ m so sad at the poison that has been injected into their culture . I won ’ t say ‘ simple ’ culture because I believe it has underestimated complexities which appeal to fresh , open minds . There is some naked romance about taking from the land without exhausting it . The act of snake or grub eating will never repulse me .
St Margaret ’ s News 6 June 2017
Cause to ln the years 1974-1976, the Kelly family lived in a small NSW/QId border town called Goodooga, where John was Principal of a central school with an over 95% indigenous enrolment. Susan was six and a half years old when they left. When she was 18 in Yr12 she wrote this piece for the 1988 Bicentenary. It was actually then published in St. Margaret's News. When we recently found it in a drawer we asked Sue to comment now on Her recollections, especially in view of recent Aboriginal concerns re the Constitution. - Pam and John Kelly CAUSE TO CELEBRATE (The original piece) There was a time when I considered it a disadvantage to be white. Most of my friends were black and this seemed to allow them to have the time of their lives. They were carefree; they didn’t have to wear shoes to school; they got to camp out by the river every night. Of course, I was very young – and living in a town where whites were the minority, but I clearly remem- ber how much those kids were loved and cared for. The entire aboriginal community was as one large sprawling family. At six, I thought the world lay at their toasted brown feet. In a fleck on the map where television was rare, and consisted of a crackling and snowy A.B.C., we made our own entertainment. Apart from playing house under the water tanks, the river was a great place to swim and fish under paren- tal supervision. I remember by my friends’ earthiness. Their coloured skin could easily have been a permanent layer of dust; they seemed an intrinsic part of the land. Though I never thought of them as being dirty. Many aboriginals lived in town, and there was another, more ‘civilised’ reserve apart from the group of corrugated iron shelters 'FR&fW"'WB@v2FR( &fW"V^( v6FfFVBגGFVFFB&fW"v2FRfVbFRFvBFWWrrF6G27G&VwF'WBBv6( B6WFp66ञ( fR&VVFB&WBFRG'V2vvW&RvVBW7B&WBWfW'v@bFRvVVBFV"vFR6VFW''G2vvW&RVgBF&FP7G&VWG2FB6( BvB&VV&W"( fR6V&BFB6G&V( 2&W2Ч62&RfV&RFWvW&Rח7F6BFRB( 66BBFR6FB2&VVখV7FVBFFV"7VGW&Rv( B6( 6^( 7VGW&R&V6W6R&VƖWfR@2VFW&W7FFVB6WFW2v6VFg&W6V֖G2FW&R26RVB&6R&WBFrg&FRBvFWBWW7BЦrBFR7Bb6R"w'V"VFrvWfW"&WV6RR7B&v&WN( 2Ww0`VR#