We started out as respite carers after we saw a flier at the health service but after a while it came to be like – we miss those kids. Over the last three and a half years there have been 33 children who have come and stayed with us.
We just want them to know they are safe and that they can be proud of who they are. Some kids don’t know they are Aboriginal, even if they have dark skin. Some have come to our home telling us they were Italian but when they leave, they leave as proud Aboriginal kids.
You’re told about the trauma that these children have experienced, but it’s totally different when they come through your door. They behave differently from anything you have seen. One child we looked after was mute for three months but after a while, you couldn’t shut him up. Just to see that change blows you away. Just to think you are a part of that. I love it. It’s beautiful.
After a while they realise that they don’t have to walk in with their heads down, they don’t have to have fear, they can have hope and dreams and they can treat our house as their home.
We didn’t realise there were thousands of Aboriginal kids in the system. But we have been blessed to be able to teach the children who have stayed with us about who they are and what they can achieve.