Removed From Country - Yarrabah Story

Removed From Country - Yarrabah Story

Removed From Country - Yarrabah Story

©Melanie Hava 2016
61 x 61cm
Mixed Media
SOLD via Umi Arts Gallery, Cairns

In 1940 when Grandma was three years old, she and her two sisters were taken out of their father Walter Brook’s care and along with their mum Goombun/Minnie and 2 half-brothers Moonyinoh/Barney and Marnjoh/Tom were forcibly removed to Yarrabah Aboriginal Mission.  Back then it was illegal for white people and Aboriginal people to co-habitat, and having children together was a dead giveaway to the new constable 15 miles away over in Millaa Millaa! Walter Brooks however was very determined to reunite with his second family and requested government they be returned. Finally, after many letters over a period of 2-3 years (which family saw from retrieved government files in the early 2000s), they were permitted to marry, wed in Cairns, and returned to traditional estate country.  This story shows some of the laws that greatly impacted our family.  This forcibly removed from country story is same story for so many of Aboriginal people from rainforest country and across Queensland, and the nation.  We’re very conscious that in our case our people were able to come back to home country.

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