“When I was living with Mum and Dad, we used to travel a lot and never really go to school. We would just travel around South Australia, up north, to Broken Hill, Oodnadatta, the Rock, places like that. We travelled in the car and drove around everywhere. I enjoyed the travelling very much because I was seeing lots of Australia and my family. I grew up learning lots about our family background. My mob is called Arabana; well, my dad’s side is Dieri and my mum’s side is Arabana. We have a big family and used to go out, grab honey and stuff, just hang with the family and talk our languages together. I still know quite a few different mob languages but I don’t speak it. I used to speak it fluently with my mum, because I used to never even speak English at all. Now I can listen and understand it all but I only say a couple of things here and there. It was hard growing up in Port Augusta. My parents were alcoholics pretty much and it wasn’t a healthy time for us, so we got moved. It was tough and at some point, I even had to feed my three younger brothers, because we weren’t getting fed; I just had to look after them. I think that is why we are so close, family is important. We were living in foster care at one point and then Nana thought it would be better if we lived with her. Nana had moved down here with her partner and so two of my brothers and me all followed. It was pretty big moving to Kangaroo Island as a seven-year-old because I didn’t know anything about the island. All I knew was that my brother had been here before and he said, it was pretty good. I went straight to school when I arrived here which was also different. Just going to school often, my first time ever going to school constantly and properly. After a while, things were a bit hard at Nana’s—just arguing with her, arguing with my brothers, running away when I was frustrated and stuff. I was a bit immature back then, so we all decided it would be good to send me to boarding school in Adelaide. I stayed up there for a year, but when boarding school wasn’t successful, I went back into care and I was having a tough time for a while. Getting into trouble with school and also with the police, just hanging around with the wrong group of people and didn’t have very good friends, apart from one. After the fires and Covid, Emma brought me back home. I have been here ever since, moved in with Emma’s family and this year I started at Parndana school. I have felt much more settled here since all that happened. Kangaroo Island feels like home; I might go visit Port Augusta but I don’t know about moving back. Up north, footy has always been my passion, I started playing really young and we didn’t really play anything else up there—we would always kick the footy. But I have started to think about what to do after school and I can’t imagine sitting in an office, I love being out and about doing a lot of stuff. I have too much energy, I can never sit down. I think I might try and get into farming. It’s quite strange, from Port Augusta to farming, but reflecting back on my life, I feel like I’ve come a long way and have many options now.”

Published by sabrinadavis5223

I am a German living in South Australia. We lost our home and farm in the Kangaroo island summer bushfires. I love travelling, reading, beach walks, board games, watching movies and spending time with my family.

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