Dryborough Station was dry and dusty
And on hot, summer days the air was musty
They slept open under the tin roofs
While the long-horned cattle stomped their hooves
Stretched asleep lay the sleeping dogs
Lying nearby the campfire logs
But, it was home
Dryborough Station was infested with flies
And when the big man came Liyan told him lies.
When the man from Welfare came to take them away
They knew for certain that they wanted to stay
The rest of them had skin as black as the night
But the kids who were taken away had skin too light
Still, it was home
When the man from Welfare came they were down near the lake
They used the burnt stick, but they knew it was fake
The first time, the man would believe her lies
But when the kids were taken away, you could hear distant cries
Yes, it was home
My artwork is about a book we read called The Burnt Stick, which is about the Stolen Generation. This is a time in Australia’s history when Aboriginal children were stolen from their family and taken across the country to a completely different place, where they were treated poorly. My poems and art show the difference between where a child came from and was sent to. He would never be happy at the mission because he had no family there and it wasn’t his Country. My art links to reconciliation because it is learning about the past and learning so the future can never follow this way. It links to Caring for Country because it shows the depth of connection Aboriginal people have to their Country.
Reconciliation means …Reconciliation means learning about the past, and making sure the bad parts never happen again. It is when we look back on the past and say sorry on behalf of the people who took the children away, as they now cannot say it themselves. We acknowledge the past and hope for the future to be better.
Author: Audrey Mullins – Year 4
What the judges said: “Clever contrast of mission and reserve life, different contexts, quite creative, sincere and effortful”