BACK TO THE PEOPLE
My name is Alma Franks. I was born in La Perouse, that’s down in Sydney somewhere.
I don’t remember much about my early life. I know I was taken to King Edward Girl’s Home when I was about 9, I think. Then I was took back to my father, he was in Clarence Town with a step mother. She said my mother was dead, that she was never around. I think he’s dead now too, I’m not quite sure. He used to go to the pubs and pull me out of bed at night time and flog me when he felt like flogging me, so I asked the cops at Clarence Town to put me back where I was, so they did. They put me back into the Girl’s Home until I was eighteen, they sent me up to Parkes for a while.
It wasn’t until I was 35 that I found out my mother was still alive.
I was eighteen when I came back to Clarence Town. I met my husband there. He was fishing, and I was throwing rocks in the water. He chased me off the grounds, but I was a bit faster than he was. I ended up working on his dairy farm. Eventually we moved to Mount Olive. We had six kids together.
I also spent time working in the Territory, fencing and rounding up the wild cattle. I couldn’t ride a horse so I just got on a motorbike with a heap of other fellows, Aboriginal men and that, and they used to round up the wild cattle with helicopters and everything.
“It wasn’t until I was 35 I found out my mother was still alive.”