Glenyse Ward was taken from her mother and put into Wandering Mission to grow up in a regimented and enclosed world of German nuns. At sixteen, again without choice, she was sent to a wealthy farm to be little better than a slave. Soon, she was wishing shoe was back at the mission...' (Source: Back cover)
For my mother, husband and children,
and for all the Aboriginal women who,
as girls, had to face hard times
working on white people's farms
in the Great Southern and other
districts of their own country.
'During the 1980s Aboriginal Australians experienced setbacks in their quest for the restoration of their land rights. Neoliberal politics reframed such demands as special interests seeking to gain a material advantage at the expense of the general community and as a threat to the economic security of the nation. As a consequence, politicians failed to pass legislation that would formalize the national land rights system that would guarantee Aboriginal economic self-sufficiency. This paper argues that it was in this context that Aboriginal memoir emerged to prompt social action by recounting experiences of discrimination and exploitation erased by official history and by challenging the imposed racist stereotypes used to marginalize Aboriginal claims. These memoirs prompted sympathy and understanding among a broad readership, which enabled the formation of a political solidarity over the recognition of Aboriginal land rights. These memoirs also expressed a commonality of Aboriginal experience that served to unite an increasingly frayed Aboriginal activist movement eroded by neoliberal policies.' (Publication abstract)