Renee MacDonald


I was born to a young Mum, she was just 18 when she had me and we travelled around a lot.

Growing up, I always knew that I was Aboriginal but it was not something that was talked about. There was no shame associated, but also no pride. It was not until Aboriginal culture was celebrated and discussed that as an adult I realised that so many of the families and children that I grew up with were also Aboriginal. I like to think that without even being aware, as a child I had somehow felt that I had found a good mob and that Singleton was where I needed to stay.

When I was 14, Mum took her own life. I went and stayed with my boyfriend Kristian at his father’s house.  It was a safe place, a place to work out my future and to give myself the chance to separate myself from the life I knew.

I made the decision to have a child. I truly believed that starting my own family would make a difference. I felt really alone. I had Kristian and I had his family but I still felt completely alone. Kristian was very supportive.  Still to this day, four babies and 25 years later he is still here.

After our fourth child I got a bit restless and I thought you know, I’ve accomplished my goals: I’m a great mother, my kids are my life but I needed some extra stimulation, so I went to TAFE and then I got a job.

Right now, my goal is to empower the young Aboriginal girls that live in Singleton, assist them to realise what their potential is and support them to take the steps to get there. I want to help them strengthen their connection to Country and celebrate their identity.  I want to empower them and build their resilience so that they can go out there and turn their own dreams into reality.

“I want to empower them and build their resilience.”