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‘Most people call me Auntie Rita, whites as well as Aboriginal people. Auntie is a term of respect of our older women folk. You don't have to be blood-related or anything. Everyone is kin. That's a beautiful thing because in this way no one is ever truly alone, they always have someone they can turn to.’
Rita Huggins was stolen from her country as a child in the 1920s, and taken to what is now Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve. She remembers her first meeting with a whiteman – a trooper, who with other whitement, forced her people in to cattle truchs before driving them south to the Reserve. The Cherbourg years were ones of imprisonment under the so-called Aborigines Protection Act.
From that time, and also from the yeas as a single mother in Brisbane in the 1960s, there cam a desire to make something better for herself, her family and Aboriginal people. The 1960s ushered in important days in Aboriginal politices – the 1967 Referendum, the Freedom Ride, the rise of Aboriginal political organisations – and these years as well as contemporary Aboriginal activism are seen here through Rita’s eyes.
‘Rita Huggins told her memories to her daughter Jackie, and some of their conversation is in this book. We witness their intimacy, their similarities and their differences, the ‘fighting with their tongues’. Two voices, two views on a shared life.
170 pages; ISBN 9780855755751
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