Our 250th Blog Post… A ‘Random’ Celebration

Print of Youth Chasing Kangaroo by Reynold Hart which appeared in Florence Rutter’s Little Black Fingers and in The Overseas and Transatlantic Mail. Mary Durack-Miller Collection, The J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History.

Last week, when I posted the article Factors Facilitating Addiction Recovery: A Summary in our Healing Blog, I did not realise that it was the 250th blog post on our website. I thought we should have a belated celebration of this milestone today. To do something different, I decided to link to ten randomly selected posts—I used a computerised random number generator—on this 254th blog post. These articles (or just their titles and summary) should give you an idea of the range of material we have written about. Here goes:

Little Black Fingers: In late 1950, Mrs Rutter published a 24-page booklet of this title, which provided an outline of the children’s story and her visits, reproduction of some of the drawings, and a number of letters that the boys wrote to her when she returned to the UK.

Facilitating Healing at Carrolup, Part 2: Describes the non-Aboriginal people who helped the children of Carrolup, some of the emotional needs of the children that were satisfied during the time they were at Carrolup, and the impact of trauma and factors that facilitate recovery from, or healing of, trauma.

‘Do Things With Us, to To Us!’: Chris Sarra: ‘We as Aboriginal people want to be on a journey with you. This journey however, must be one that enables us to be the best that ‘we’ want to be, not a journey in which we are forced to be who ‘you’ want us to be.’ Chris Sarra, internationally recognised Aboriginal education specialist.

Meeting Dilip Parekh of the Carrolup Song: John and I sail on a paddle-steamer on the Swan River so we can attend a concert by Dilip Parekh of the local band ‘Dilip ‘n the Davs’, the man who wrote the beautiful song about Carrolup we have highlighted on our website.

Out To Prove: Native Affairs District Inspector Bill Gordon says of Noel White in a letter to Charles L McBeath, the Acting Commissioner of the Department of Native Affairs: ‘… he informed me that he is out to prove to the Education Department that the native mind and capabilities are equal to, if not better than, those of the white children.’

Did the Carrolup Girls Draw Too? Yes!: To begin with, many of the children’s drawings were largely abstract, experimentations with colour and blending—whilst the boys gradually moved onto landscapes, the girls remained preoccupied with abstract geometric designs, as evidenced by images from their pastel drawing books.

Untangling the Elements Involved in Addiction Treatment: Qualitative research conducted by Lucie James and I with inmates attending a treatment programme in two UK prisons revealed key factors facilitating recovery from addiction: a sense of belonging, socialisation, learning and support, which impacted on self-esteem and motivation to change.

Importance of the Carrolup Story: The story can facilitate the healing of trauma amongst Aboriginal people by: (1) creating cultural pride, which facilitates connection to culture, a key factor underlying healing; (2) enhancing public awareness of the  achievements of Aboriginal people which helps reduce the racism that is a barrier to healing.

The Dormitory Frieze: One of the most remarkable artefacts surviving at Carrolup today is one element of a frieze that encircled the walls of part of one of the children’s dormitories—the frieze comprised a number of figures painted at nights, high up on the walls, by a group of the boys.

Facets of Colonisation, Part 3: Describes the work of Mr Auber Octavius Neville, Chief Protector of Aborigines between 1915 and 1940—today, ‘Neville the Devil’ is remembered by Aboriginal people more than any other white person as being responsible for the tyrannical control that was exerted over Aboriginal people.

I hope you have the opportunity to read at least some of these ten blog posts.

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