Are Aboriginal mothers too scared to ask for help in case it results having their children stolen?

11 October 2016 (edited 12 October 2016)

Our brothers and sisters in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder (*Karlkurla) region are in mourning again as we have lost a young mother on Monday, a 37 year old women who has been reported to be a distant relatiive to Elijah Doughty took her life at the same location Elijah was killed a few moths ago. ABC Report

Our heart and thoughts go to her family and friends.

ABC reported that local women in Kalgoorlie say they are devastated by this death. They described the past year as draining and soul-destroying as deaths mounted.

"We've just been burying and burying and burying people that are close to us, you know, people that we love," community member Dena Rundle said.

Dianne Logan, Kalgoorlie
Dianne Logan, Chairwoman of the Goldfields Indigenous Housing Corporation Kalgoorlie

(ABC News - Eliza Barrello)

Her friend Dianne Logan said combating suicide was extremely difficult because many Indigenous people did not reach out for help.

"Historically Aboriginal people have had a fear of welfare and police, because they're only there to take your kids away," Ms Logan said.

"They're not used to talking to strangers, because nobody listens."

In the aftermath of the death of Kalgoorlie teenager Elijah Doughty Ms Logan cautioned against snap judgements just two weeks ago.

She said many mothers of today's Indigenous teenagers were the children of the Stolen Generation's women.

"They haven't had any nurturing in those missions, they haven't always been nice places," she said.

"They all learnt how to clean and be disciplined but [were] never, ever taught how to love.

"It is what every human being should have, is that nurturing, caring, somebody to love you.

"So if you never ever had it, how can you show it?"

But she said action, not talk, was needed.

There is a universal head-space in the majority of non-Aboriginal people that these tragedies are just issues that are part of the 'Aboriginal problem' and this racist and dismissive attitude is not addressed by governments or the media at all.

In reality many of our people have problems specifically associated with the ongoing white supremacy, and most, if not all of their problems are the inevitable results from Intergenerational trauma and abuses, and it is little wonder that the victims conclusion often is that their lives don't mean shit.

They are scared to ask for help because experience tells them this will give the government another excuse to punish them for being who they are, and perpetrate yet another unthinkable abuse upon them

A few weeks ago Trevor Donaldson from the Goldfields Land and Sea Council said, "We the Aboriginal people have the answers to a lot of the issues we face daily, however we are frequently told the best way to do our business. Or if you like, suck eggs."

Trevor has has a previous experience with suicide that he will never be able to escape the memory of, he tried desperately to revive his unresponsive nephew after he had taken his life. "People are quite blasé about suicide until it impacts you personally," he said.

"In my case I was trying to resuscitate my young nephew with CPR.

"When you're on your knees doing that, it haunts you for the rest of your days.

. . . . . . .
Kalgoorlie ssite of the two Aboriginal deaths, after the killing of Elijah Doughty in August 2016
Picture taken at the site of the two tragic Aboriginal deaths, taken soon after the killing of Elijah Doughty in August 2016.

(Picture: Bohdan Warchomij -

After Elijah Doughty’s tragic death local police downplayed that there was any relating racial elements, with Acting Commander Darryl Gaunt saying: “There’s nothing to suggest this is anything other than an Aboriginal boy that’s been tragically killed, not that he’s Aboriginal and that this was motivated by his Aboriginality”.

The statement by Commander Gaunt completely glosses over the racist undertones in the town.

He totally disregards the fact that Elijah was an Aboriginal boy killed and it is well known that there is rampant racism in the town and its environs, and also Elijah appears to be deliberately run over by a car with a sober white male at the wheel.

This whole thing about 'not being racially motivated' flies in the face of the reality, and the history of 228 years of abuse.

Our people have been subject to every kind of intergenerational trauma and gross abuses ever thought up by man, and many of our surviving brothers and sisters are tired, with their feelings of hopelessness finally emerging as taking their own lives as their only way out.

We have to stop our children being stolen, so our brothers and sisters feel confident to obtain appropriate support, and the support networks must be in place within their own communities to provide culturally appropriate assistance.

We must never have our people in a situation where their problems are being exasperated by having their children taken from them, or the fear that they may be. We really should start calling it for what it is 'The intergenational theft of our children', or the 21st century Genocide era.

* The name Kalgoorlie is derived from the Wangai word Karlkurla, meaning "place of the silky pears"

Kalgoorlie info was obtained through three ABC 'on the ground' reports.

After the death of Elijah Doughty in August 2016, a line of people stood on a road in Kalgoorlie holding banners and an Aboriginal flag in a demonstration which began peacefully, but the atmosphere escalated when they were not allowed to attend a court hearing of the man who was charged with running Elijah over with his vehicle.

(ABC News: John Wibberley)

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Debbie Carmody, an Anangu woman is First Nation radio broadcaster in the Goldfields region explains that 'anger is the voice of the people'. She talks about the deplorable history of racism and injustices in Kalgoorlie.

(ABC RN: Speaking Out with Larissa Behrendt)