Ann was the only Aboriginal person in her family and the only Aboriginal child at her school, where other kids weren’t allowed to play with her. Ann lived with her foster family from the age of four until she ran away at twelve.
Ann’s life was rocky from here. She stayed in many hostels and passed through thirteen different foster families within a year. She experienced homelessness and resorted to petty crime resulting in time spent in and out of jail. She also struggled with alcoholism, an illness that stayed with Ann for decades. But through another twist of fate, it was in prison that Ann finally reconnected with her family. By chance, another woman in jail had the same surname as Ann and they discovered that they were cousins. Upon a visit from this woman’s uncle, Ann discovered the man was also her birth uncle. He was Margaret’s brother.
He was from Port Hedland and had served in the army on the promise of citizenship upon his return. He told Ann that while her mother had passed away at a young age, her grandparents and other relatives were still in Port Headland. Upon release from jail, Ann and her cousin hitchhiked to Port Hedland to Three Mile Reserve so Ann could finally meet her family.
Ann can still remember the day she met her family for the first time. She can still hear the wails of her grandmother and aunties as she arrived. Ann was the first grandchild of her generation to return home after being taken.