Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

COMMUNITY Heartbreak Elder's Disgust over Attack

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

COMMUNITY Heartbreak Elder's Disgust over Attack

Article excerpt


TEARS began trickling down Bella Walker's cheeks on Sunday as she spoke about the destructive break-ins at Yamba Public School last week allegedly committed by asome of her moba.

And when the conversation turned to the damage at Ma's Place, an indigenous classroom named after her late mother Della Walker, the distress and emotion written on her face spoke volumes on how she felt about the alleged perpetrators of this malicious damage.

The school was broken into twice a once sometime on Sunday night or Monday, and again on Thursday afternoon.

Thirty-four windows were smashed in the break-ins; 15 out of 19 classrooms were trashed; the canteen, library and office were also maliciously damaged by the offenders.

Aware police had spoken to three boys a aged 14, 13 and 10 a Ms Walker said she could not believe some of her own Yaegl people could desecrate the school as they had, let alone a room as important to her people as Ma's Place.

aI am disgusted at what happened to the school,a she said.

aThe proudest moment in many of our lives was cutting the ribbon on Ma's Place when it was opened ... and now I am so upset that this has happened.a

She said the hard work establishing Ma's Place had been ruined in the break-ins.

aAndrea Brown fought so hard to get Ma's Place up and running, searching for photos and documents and parts of our history,a she said.

aShe put in a lot of effort and did it out of the goodness of her heart and that is the saddest thing that those boys could do this.a

Ms Walker said news of the damage caused to the school and Ma's Place had travelled throughout her people and family.

aThe rest of my family, who don't live here, are very, very upset,a she said.

aMum was an icon of our people in this area . …

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