About my ancestors
My bloodline is descendant from Truganini sister from Bruny island in Tasmania (Palawa) of the Nyunoni language group.
Although it is a heritage that is not commonly accepted by historians and Tasmanian aboriginals that are not of that bloodline my family have extensive proof.
To be accepted as part of that bloodline would mean that history would need to be rewritten nevertheless It does not change who we are or who and where we come which is undeniable and is all we need as proof of who we are as aboriginal people.
Being aboriginal is more that a skin colour or a certificate from the government that states there acknowledgement of you as aboriginal. Although nice to have it does not change who you are or your DNA.
Being aboriginal is something you feel in your soul it’s the connection you feel to your ancestors and to Mother Earth. It’s something that is undeniable and that is something that one one can take away from you.
I have a extensive family in Tasmania (I live in Victoria) who have gathered detailed family history over a twenty year period proving our lineage.
My family in Victoria had some missing pieces and they had some missing pieces.
We didn’t always know who we were, my Great nan ( I call her nan) was removed from her mum Selina Anderson and sent to Victoria. She grew up with her non Indigenous family and was told she was Maori. She never spoke to her children about her childhood and they didn’t know their Nan or Pop. I was told of times when Nan would make the kids hide under the table when anyone came to the door. When I spoke to my cousins in Tasmania they confirmed the reason for that (she was removed from her aboriginal mum).
I may not have grown up knowing I was aboriginal which is a very common story unfortunately the stolen generation and the assimilation policies from the government did what they set out to do. To create a entire generation who do not know who they are, where they are from or why they feel like there is something about them missing, something sacred, something special.
Today knowing my families past and heritage I am here a light skinned aboriginal women who feels like she can’t even call herself aboriginal because I’m not dark enough or because I didn’t grow up knowing I was. Someone who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere and isn’t accepted by her own people and probably never will be. But that was the whole point of it all the assimilation, the stolen generations the whole thing.
I create art that is aboriginal because I am, I wasn’t lucky enough to be passed on stories from my elders like some still do because my family was broken.
I put off painting for years because I didn’t want to offend, disrespect or do the wrong thing by any aboriginal community.
I set out and found the elders in the community I lived in (moving a lot) and sort advise and permission to paint and it was given to me.
I paint my own stories, stories from my life and experiences and stories from the stars also part of my lineage and that of all aboriginal people.
I know who I am and who and where I came from and it’s my hope that one day instead of continuing the separation that we all come together with love and acceptance as one no matter the differences.