Shelter from the Storm: Bryan Brown, Samoan Chieftains and the Little Matter of a Roof over Our Heads

By Siobhán McHugh | Go to book overview

4

Hate Street
Cooremah Housing Company

My father was Irish. He married an Aboriginal. And if he didn't want or think much of my mother, he would have got out of it a bloody long time before he had ten kids!

All our life we run: 'Get under the bed, run to the river you kids, run to Granny.' We was always running. When I was little, my sister used to put me on her back and run. I could never understand until I grew up and found out they were under the Aboriginal Protection Board. We were watched and hounded like dogs.

I think I was about seven or eight when they got us. We were all together at the police station. They told us were going away on a holiday. Ten years I think it was. A long holiday. My mother was taken, they committed her, reckoned she was insane. He used to come and see us when we first went into the orphanage, but we all nearly pulled the clothes off him when he was leaving, cryin' and hangin' onto him ... I think he was told not to come back, he was upsetting the kids.

Keith Byrne has a big mouth, a quick temper and a devilish sense of humour. The temper he ascribes to his Irish side; the humour that makes him laugh at injustice instead of succumb to self-pity is surely Aboriginal. The combination of assertiveness and irreverence has served him well in combating the enduring racism of rural New South Wales.

-39-

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Shelter from the Storm: Bryan Brown, Samoan Chieftains and the Little Matter of a Roof over Our Heads
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Shelter from the Storm - Bryan Brown, Samoan Chieftains and the Little Matter of a Roof Over Our Heads *
  • Contents v
  • Preface vi
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Shelter from the Storm viii
  • 1 - A Samoan Symphony the People of Proctor Way, Claymore 1
  • 2 - Pretend Mum 22
  • 3 - A 'House' in Hollywood 29
  • 4 - Hate Street Cooremah Housing Company 39
  • 5 - Poor Little Princess 47
  • 6 - Artists, Ratbags and Lower Grade Yuppies 64
  • 7 - A Ghetto It Wasn't 77
  • 8 - I'D Rather Live in a Caravan 87
  • 9 - Goodbye Saddam 99
  • 10 - Daceyville Days 107
  • 11 - Sarajevo to City West 120
  • 12 - A Hard Nut to Crack 127
  • 13 - High Hopes in a High-Rise 139
  • 14 - Family Matters 146
  • 15 - Kidney and Car Wanted 153
  • 16 - How Green Was My Valley 161
  • 17 - Elderly Rebels 171
  • 18 - Rainbow's End 182
  • 19 - Running from the Rent Man 191
  • 20 - A Place to Belong 201
  • Notes 211
  • Index 212
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