Now that I have started to (try) writing more regularly, I find there is plenty to write about. I didn't think my life was this involved!
I found out recently that my Nan's mum was a full Aboriginal. We didn't find this out until she was about 80. I asked my mum if she has realised her Nan was an Aboriginal, and she told me she thought she was French. Go figure!
I don't even know the full story of how Nan found out, I just know one of my cousins was doing some family history research, and Nan had some letters from the council (Pungenna tribe in Tasmania) that said she was accepted by the tribe.
I don't know heaps about her life as she was growing up, but I do know that she was very proud to have been accepted and to claim this heritage. She kept the letters with her at the nursing home and loved to show them to people.
Its sad because Nan has passed away, and we didn't get to ask her a lot of questions about this. I wonder how her childhood was, and if this created any difficulties for their family. She was a well adjusted adult who valued family, but I would love to know more about this. Our family has spoken to the lady who administrates the council who just happens to be a distant relative of my Nan's, and she has given us some websites to look at but its hard when they are so far away.
I talk to my kids about this, and we talk about how lucky we are to have this cultural heritage. Its funny, even in these modern times that people still have prejudices against indigenous people, but I think its pretty cool.
And on the other side of my family (on my dads side), they have tracked their family back to the first fleet (they are part of a group called The First Fleeters, which are families of people who came to Australia on the first fleet of ships to arrive), and they are very quick to add they the relative who came over all those years ago was NOT a convict! Haha, I think it would have been juicier if they had of been.
So I guess that makes us pretty Aussie, wouldn't you? Most of my friends have exotic cultures and foods which I was always envious of (Greek, Maltese etc) but think now I have something that makes me a little more interesting too.
I'd love to know more, and perhaps even one day be in a position to help struggling Aboriginals live a healthier and happier life. That would be great.
In the meantime, will install pride in my children for this heritage, and do my best to learn a little more.