Me and My People

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Perth

Perth
Suite 3, 41 Walters Drive, Osborne Park WA 6017
PO Box 1817, Osborne Park DC WA 6916
PH: 08 9441 1608
FAX: 08 9244 2786
Email: aicsperth@ais.wa.edu.au

Broome

Broome
PO Box 2373, Broome WA 6725
PH: 08 9193 6480
FAX: 08 9193 6484
Email: aicsbr@wn.com.au

A Poem By Nicole Clinch
Year 9

Nicole

ME AND MY PEOPLE

I am Nicole Clinch
An Aboriginal true and true
Born in 1985 November 2
To the parents of Tracey and Charles
Born in Perth
Grew up with mum, pop, nanna
And other members of the family.
"Australia! My Australia,
Born a virgin
Mutilated by unwelcome visitors."
Loved by my family
And involved in their activities.
I grew up learning the customs
traditions and law
Of my ancestors.
Went hunting and bardy collecting
And collected bush tucker for the rest
of my kin's folk.

"Australia! My Australia,
Born a virgin
Mutilated by unwelcome visitors."
Heard stories of the woggle and
The mighty deeds of Yagen.
Why the emus can't fly
And the barn barn barlala.
Heard also of the laws of the Tribe
The punishment meted out to erring
and recalcitrant offenders.

"Australia! My Australia,
Born a virgin
Mutilated by unwelcome visitors."
Went to school with friends and strangers
Fought with foes and loved my play mates
Learned to read and write in the ways of the wadjellas.
Lessons learned helped to foster love and hate.
Recollecting one incident:
When having done well in a test
I was told that I had cheated
It was all because I was black.
My eyes soon opened to the fact that
Colour was the prime concern.
"Why can't people
Love one another as I have loved you."
Why should people see colour, class
or creed in another's eyes?

"Australia! My Australia,
Born a virgin
Mutilated by unwelcome visitors."
Suffered and scared by pain and sorrows
Inflicted by whites and blacks alike
Embedded in my memory
For years to come.
Learnt in a year at school
While others take a lifetime.
We never knew what grog, buyo and sugar were
Until the white fella came.
Guns and ammo to shoot and kill
"Fall the black fella"
Was the order of the day.
My people fell like 9-pins on the ground
Some were caught, tortured, suffered and killed
But others kept on going,
Stories too many to unfold on this lettered form.

"Australia! My Australia,
Born a virgin
Mutilated by unwelcome visitors."
Reconciliation -- a new work in Australia
This means a lot to me
Let's love and respect each other true and true.
Hate must vanish against all
perpetrators if we are to succeed
We must not see our countrymen as
white, black or brindle
But as our brothers and sisters and
Love one another as God has loved us.