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

14

Family Matters

Tom Slockee

After I finished my time in the army, I went back to live at Batemans Bay ... but lo and behold, when I went to the real estate agents around that town, I couldn't get a house, even though I knew there were houses available ... to get a house we actually used some whitefella. I started to realise then that we needed to look after our own affairs to get housing ...

On 24 July 1998, some fifteen years after having to resort to using a white friend in order to be rented a house, Tom Slockee became Chairman of the newly gazetted Aboriginal Housing Office, set up by the New South Wales Government to develop and administer housing programs appropriate to Aboriginal people across the state.

A quietly spoken man who has retained a dapper appearance from his army years, Tom Slockee is no less passionate now about providing decent housing for his people than he was as a young father back in Batemans Bay. By the time he left the town, there were 40 houses available to indigenous people, funded first through the Aboriginal Development Commission and later ATSIC, and managed by the community housing organisation Tom had founded.

I am glad I done that now, looking back on it. If we hadn't formed that and hadn't advocated strongly for our housing needs through the different funding agencies, then a lot of our people would have been still suffering

-146-

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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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