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A Question of Colour my journey to belonging by
Call Number: 362.849915092 LEE
Publication Date: 2020
'These two children have been in our Home in Townsville for more than two years, and in view of their very dark colouring, have not been assimilated into the white race. Every effort has been made to place them in a foster home without success because of their colour.' Queensland State Children's Department correspondence, 21 June 1960.
The removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families remains a dark chapter in Australia's history. Pattie Lees was just ten-years-old when she and her four siblings were separated from their mother on the grounds of neglect and placed into State care. Believing she was being shipped and exiled to Africa, Pattie was ultimately fated to spend the rest of her childhood on the island once dubbed 'Australia's Alcatraz' -Palm Island Aboriginal Settlement, off the coast of Queensland.
A Question of Colour; my journey to belonging provides a first-hand account of Pattie's experiences as a 'fair-skinned Aboriginal' during Australia's assimilationist policy era and recounts her survival following a decade of sexual, physical and emotional abuse as a Ward of the State. A Question of Colour is a deeply moving and powerful testimony to the resilience of a young girl, her identity and her journey to belong.
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that A Question of Colour my journey to belonging contains images and names of deceased persons. This book discusses multiple forms of trauma, including intergenerational trauma.
We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.
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