Inequality and heart- break:

Did you know today is Blog Action Day? Join bloggers from around the world and write a post about what inequality means to you. Have you ever encountered it in you daily life?

Having been born a white Australian in the 1940s I have had a relatively easy life. My eyes were opened for the first time when I saw how apartheid affected peoples’ lives when I visited Durbin in South Africa. I couldn’t leave quickly enough. I was horrified that people could be treaded as second class beings just because of the colour of their skin.

In the early 1980s I felt totally powerless as a house parent in a family group home in Cairns, Australia, when the following incident took place:

We had three children and up to eight children in care. I loved these children. We had three Aboriginal siblings amongst our group. The eldest had always lived with her grandmother in Cairns. The younger two had lived with their mother in Normanton, previously, but had ended up with their grandmother too. When they came to us, they were traumatized, as the grandmother had tried to commit suicide by setting fire to herself in front of the children.

These children were the most loving, sharing children and fitted easily into our group home. Children’s Services had a policy, and probably still have, of putting children back with their parents. This is perfectly fine when they have a safe home to go to. In fact, if this had been a white family, I think the outcome might have been different.

The mother of these children was brought from Normanton to Cairns with the promise of a house in Normanton, (in the far north, in the Gulf of Carpentaria), if she’d take the three children back with her. In my hearing she told the eldest child she didn’t want her. I did everything to keep that child, who didn’t want to go.

The children’s court decided that all three children had to be sent to Normanton. We cried when this decision was made. I pleaded, to no avail. Because I didn’t have qualifications at that time, my advice was disregarded.

So the three children left. Not long afterwards I heard that the alcoholic step- father had raped this wonderful 13 year old girl. This was something that could have been avoided, if only common sense had prevailed. Inequality does exist and it is to be deplored.



25 thoughts on “Inequality and heart- break:

  1. Aunt Beulah

    Heartbreaking, indeed, and a powerful post to write for Blog Action Day. As an educator, I, too, shed tears when courts made decisions that I thought wrong when dealing with the placement of children. You’ve given us all something to ponder and try to correct. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joannesisco

    This is a very sad story made worse when the advice of those closest to the situation is ignored. The very people who need the most protection are often the ones who are let down first.
    I’m sure it was very difficult for you and the experience has obviously stayed with you 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  3. M-R

    DFAT and every one of the other state equivalents appear to be comprised of people who make decisions that are almost bound to end in tragedy. I have no idea why this is: but it is.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. bkpyett Post author

        Yes M-R, I can’t understand war, surely we’ve learnt by now that it doesn’t solve the problem?
        This Ebola epidemic might make them think twice about the money they are wasting on war….


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