BACK TO THE PEOPLE
Rachel Fay Bellemy
I was born in Muswellbrook in 1951and I was raised as one of the 17 children Mum and Dad had.
When I was 10, we were taken away for 8 years. I was put into Bidura Girls Home at Glebe in Sydney. I spent about two and a half years there before I was fostered out. My foster parents are Scottish, I love them. They call me their daughter, so I call them Mum and Dad as well. They used to bring me up to Muswellbrook to see Mum and Dad without the Child Welfare knowing.
My foster father was taking Maree and I into Bankstown to get our first bikinis, but we only got as far as the Georges Hall School and a five-tonne truck come around a bend and hit us and we rolled. They thought we were all gone. I ended up with head injuries and a broken arm out of it, I spent a week in hospital.
My foster parents, they tried to pursue the court process to be issued compensation due to the accident but because I was Aboriginal and classified as a ward of the State, I was not entitled to anything. We were all angry about it, you know, my foster sister was disappointed because I never got nothing out of it, whereas she did. I had stitches near my temple, under the chin, my eyes, lost three teeth out of it, and a broken arm.
I come home to Muswellbrook when I turned 18. When my whole family came back, we all had a gathering and made up for lost time. We are all connected, we do everything the lot of us, you know.
I was married at 19, we grew up together, we used to see each other when we were kiddies, we played together. We knew when we were kids that we were going to end up together so. We were married 35 years before my husband passed away. Together, we had four boys.
“When we all came back we had a gathering, made up for lost time.”