Long ago there was a little Indigenous girl named Adina who lived in where we now called Sydney. Her parents were Indigenous Australians. Her father who was never accepted as a person, enlisted to go to war when she was four years old. Adina didn’t quite understand what was going on.
Tragically, Adina was kidnapped by white people. Terrified, angry and grief stricken, her mother screamed in anguish and in her native language “GIVE ME BACK MY CHILD!”
White strangers took many children to the detention centre where they were raised to be white. Adina missed her mother every minute of every day. She longed to be back with her family and despised the harsh environment forced upon her.
After six months Adina decided to escape. During a lesson at school she asked to go to the toilet. She crept silently down the ha way praying the nuns wouldn’t hear her. Then she climbed up the five metre fence, ignoring the pain of the wire cutting into her bare flesh.
In her haste, Adina had forgotten about getting her shoes to protect her feet. Once free of the enclosure she walked non-stop for days and days, trying to find her mother and her tribe’s people. Despite being scared of what might happen if she was caught, she was determined to go home. One day she stumbled into a camp starving and dehydrated, barely able to talk. At last she had found a group of women she could trust. When she could hold down a sip of water, Adina told them what had happened and what she was trying to do. They pointed her in the direction of her mother’s camp and Adina thanked them so much.
Adina walked for four more days and decided to make camp. She made a simple bark lean to, picked some berries and with a full stomach, fell asleep. When she awoke, the sun was in the middle of the sky. Adina continued her journey across the hot barren landscape, until finally, she heard familiar sounds.
When her mother saw her lost child, she was in awe. She was so proud and couldn’t believe that Adina had risked her life to come home. As Adina breathed in the scent of home she saw pain and torment etched into her mother’s face. That afternoon Adina and the tribe went for a swim in the river and caught fish.
Years went by quickly and life changed dramatically for her people. Years of pain and hardship were endured by numerous young girls like Adina. Their lives were filled with sadness and despair; their families, their only hope and happiness.
In 2008 Kevin Rudd in Parliament announced a proper apology. Long overdue and witnessed by millions, he said on behalf of our nation, that Australians were SORRY for past wrongs.
He stated that we as a nation should experience the unique and rich culture, tradition and history of Indigenous Australians. Reconciliation means that Australia Always Was, and Always Will Be.