Australian Biography - Lowitja (Lois) O'Donoghue

Shot Vision Audio In Point
1

Animated Film Australia Logo

Music

00:01:30
2

Animated Film Australia Logo

Music

00:01:30
3

Fade up from black

Australian Biography Opening Title Sequence

Fade to black

00:01:38
4

Fade up from black

Australian Biography Opening Title Sequence

Fade to black

00:01:38
5

Photo: Lois and Paul Keating

Lois v/o : The most important thing to do for Australians generally is to accept

00:01:47
6

Photo: Lois and Paul Keating

Lois v/o : The most important thing to do for Australians generally is to accept

00:01:47
7

Lois

Lois sync: that Aboriginal people have rights and to appreciate in fact that we have a living culture and one that they can be part of in terms of making in fact, working towards our own identity as Australians and part of that of course is, I guess, moving towards a Republic. We will become our own people as Australians and understand who we are.

00:01:53
8

Lois

Lois sync: that Aboriginal people have rights and to appreciate in fact that we have a living culture and one that they can be part of in terms of making in fact, working towards our own identity as Australians and part of that of course is, I guess, moving towards a Republic. We will become our own people as Australians and understand who we are.

00:01:53
9

Photo: Lois

Super: Lois O'Donoghue
Born 1932

Administrator

Dissolve

Music

00:02:36
10

Photo: Lois

Super: Lois O'Donoghue
Born 1932

Administrator

Dissolve

Music

00:02:36
11

Photo: Lois, Charles Perkins and other members of Aboriginal Development

Super: Foundation Commissioner, Aboriginal Development Commission 1980-84

Dissolve to

Music

00:02:42
12

Photo: Lois, Charles Perkins and other members of Aboriginal Development

Super: Foundation Commissioner, Aboriginal Development Commission 1980-84

Dissolve to

Music

00:02:42
13

Photo: Lois with her Australian of the Year award

Super: Australian of the Year 1984

Dissolve to

Music

00:02:47
14

Photo: Lois with her Australian of the Year award

Super: Australian of the Year 1984

Dissolve to

Music

00:02:47
15

Photo: Lois behind a lectern

Super: Chairperson, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Commission 1990 -

Music

00:02:52
16

Photo: Lois behind a lectern

Super: Chairperson, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Commission 1990 -

Music

00:02:52
17

Lois

Lois sync: My name is Lowitja. The name Lois O'Donoghue of course comes from the missionaries gave me Lois, which of course is a biblical name, the mother of Timothy and O'Donoghue of course is my father's name; my father Tom O'Donoghue who I never met.

Interviewer o/s: Who was he?

Lois sync: He was a Irish man who came to Australia and found himself as a station manager at Granite Downs

00:02:58
18

Lois

Lois sync: My name is Lowitja. The name Lois O'Donoghue of course comes from the missionaries gave me Lois, which of course is a biblical name, the mother of Timothy and O'Donoghue of course is my father's name; my father Tom O'Donoghue who I never met.

Interviewer o/s: Who was he?

Lois sync: He was a Irish man who came to Australia and found himself as a station manager at Granite Downs

00:02:58
19

Photo: Group of Aboriginal children collecting wood

Lois v/o: in the North West of South Australia, which is now Pitjantjatjara lands.

00:03:39
20

Photo: Group of Aboriginal children collecting wood

Lois v/o: in the North West of South Australia, which is now Pitjantjatjara lands.

00:03:39
21

Lois

Lois sync: I was with my mother for two years and I was the youngest child. At the time of being removed by the missionaries and the only thing I know about, I can't remember any of it but I was told that it was the custom in those days for missionaries to go out on a fairly regular basis with the aim of course of collecting the half-caste children and taking them away to mission life which was meant to be for our good.

00:03:46
22

Lois

Lois sync: I was with my mother for two years and I was the youngest child. At the time of being removed by the missionaries and the only thing I know about, I can't remember any of it but I was told that it was the custom in those days for missionaries to go out on a fairly regular basis with the aim of course of collecting the half-caste children and taking them away to mission life which was meant to be for our good.

00:03:46
23

Photo: Three Aboriginal babies

Interviewer o/s: Did your father do anything to prevent you being taken away?

Lois v/o : No but of course it's

00:04:30
24

Photo: Three Aboriginal babies

Interviewer o/s: Did your father do anything to prevent you being taken away?

Lois v/o : No but of course it's

00:04:30
25

Lois, zoom in to CU

Lois sync: difficult for me to really confirm what the situation was but my understanding was that he had a wife and family in Adelaide so I guess one could understand that he really was living a double life and wouldn't have wanted for his family in the city to know that he had five half-caste children.

00:04:36
26

Lois, zoom in to CU

Lois sync: difficult for me to really confirm what the situation was but my understanding was that he had a wife and family in Adelaide so I guess one could understand that he really was living a double life and wouldn't have wanted for his family in the city to know that he had five half-caste children.

00:04:36
27

Archival footage: Aboriginal girls playing games

Super: Colebrook Home Christmas 1936

Interviewer o/s: By what authority did the missionaries take these children away?

Lois v/o : It was

00:05:05
28

Archival footage: Aboriginal girls playing games

Super: Colebrook Home Christmas 1936

Interviewer o/s: By what authority did the missionaries take these children away?

Lois v/o : It was

00:05:05
29

Archival footage: Three white women

Lois v/o : government policy to remove

00:05:10
30

Archival footage: Three white women

Lois v/o : government policy to remove

00:05:10
31

Archival footage: Aboriginal boys and girls walking in a line past the camera

Lois v/o : the half-caste children. The thinking of course at that time was that they were actually

00:05:12
32

Archival footage: Aboriginal boys and girls walking in a line past the camera

Lois v/o : the half-caste children. The thinking of course at that time was that they were actually

00:05:12
33

Archival footage: Man dressed as Santa Claus walks past Aboriginal kids

Lois v/o : soothing the dying pillow and

00:05:19
34

Archival footage: Man dressed as Santa Claus walks past Aboriginal kids

Lois v/o : soothing the dying pillow and

00:05:19
35

Archival footage: Rural houses, a small child runs from left to right

Lois v/o : that Aboriginal people would die out and

00:05:21
36

Archival footage: Rural houses, a small child runs from left to right

Lois v/o : that Aboriginal people would die out and

00:05:21
37

Archival footage: Large group of Aboriginal girls, camera pans left

Lois v/o : so by removing the half-caste child and bringing

00:05:24
38

Archival footage: Large group of Aboriginal girls, camera pans left

Lois v/o : so by removing the half-caste child and bringing

00:05:24
39

Archival footage: Children play with tyres in front of rural houses

Lois v/o : in the regime

00:05:29
40

Archival footage: Children play with tyres in front of rural houses

Lois v/o : in the regime

00:05:29
41

Archival footage: Child plays inside a tyre

Lois v/o : of the half-caste eventually becoming so called white people.

00:05:31
42

Archival footage: Child plays inside a tyre

Lois v/o : of the half-caste eventually becoming so called white people.

00:05:31
43

Archival footage: Women with children running around them playing

Music

00:05:40
44

Archival footage: Women with children running around them playing

Music

00:05:40
45

Archival footage: Three little girls sitting on a step

Lois v/o : Well I was taken from

00:05:42
46

Archival footage: Three little girls sitting on a step

Lois v/o : Well I was taken from

00:05:42
47

Photo: Women with four Aboriginal kids, including Lois in her arms, zoom into Lois

Dissolve to:

Lois v/o : Granite Downs to Oodnadatta and in later years the mission was set up at Quorn in the Flinders Ranges.

00:05:45
48

Photo: Women with four Aboriginal kids, including Lois in her arms, zoom into Lois

Dissolve to:

Lois v/o : Granite Downs to Oodnadatta and in later years the mission was set up at Quorn in the Flinders Ranges.

00:05:45
49

Photo: Colebrook Home, Quorn

Lois v/o : Well it was run of course by the missionaries and there were two maiden ladies,

00:05:56
50

Photo: Colebrook Home, Quorn

Lois v/o : Well it was run of course by the missionaries and there were two maiden ladies,

00:05:56
51

Photo: Miss Hyde and Miss Rutter

Lois v/o : a Miss Hyde and Miss Rutter, and we called them sisters.

00:06:01
52

Photo: Miss Hyde and Miss Rutter

Lois v/o : a Miss Hyde and Miss Rutter, and we called them sisters.

00:06:01
53

Lois

Interviewer o/s: Was there a lot of affection and love from these two maiden ladies for you?

Lois sync: No I can't remember

00:06:06
54

Lois

Interviewer o/s: Was there a lot of affection and love from these two maiden ladies for you?

Lois sync: No I can't remember

00:06:06
55

Photo: Lois as a small girl

Lois v/o : any affection of that kind. In later years we shied away from that

00:06:12
56

Photo: Lois as a small girl

Lois v/o : any affection of that kind. In later years we shied away from that

00:06:12
57

Photo: Lois and three little girls

Lois v/o : sort of affection because often there were

00:06:17
58

Photo: Lois and three little girls

Lois v/o : sort of affection because often there were

00:06:17
59

Photo: Lois and other Aboriginal girls

Lois v/o : church families and so on who wanted to take, you know, children in for the school

00:06:21
60

Photo: Lois and other Aboriginal girls

Lois v/o : church families and so on who wanted to take, you know, children in for the school

00:06:21
61

Lois

Lois sync: holidays and that sort of thing which was really quite foreign to go into a nuclear family type atmosphere where of course they wanted to hug and kiss you and tuck you in bed and kiss you goodnight and that sort of stuff. I just didn't like it at all, shied away from it.

00:06:27
62

Lois

Lois sync: holidays and that sort of thing which was really quite foreign to go into a nuclear family type atmosphere where of course they wanted to hug and kiss you and tuck you in bed and kiss you goodnight and that sort of stuff. I just didn't like it at all, shied away from it.

00:06:27
63

Photo: Lois and other Aboriginal girls in black dresses

Lois v/o : We were totally regimented of course in everything we did

00:06:49
64

Photo: Lois and other Aboriginal girls in black dresses

Lois v/o : We were totally regimented of course in everything we did

00:06:49
65

Photo: Lois in a black dress

Lois v/o : and we were expected always to go to school

00:06:54
66

Photo: Lois in a black dress

Lois v/o : and we were expected always to go to school

00:06:54
67

Photo: Quorn Primary School

Lois v/o : every day and of course attend church three times a day on Sunday.

00:06:59
68

Photo: Quorn Primary School

Lois v/o : every day and of course attend church three times a day on Sunday.

00:06:59
69

Photo: Aboriginal kids in a class room

Lois v/o : We had prayers after every meal and, you know, there was just

00:07:04
70

Photo: Aboriginal kids in a class room

Lois v/o : We had prayers after every meal and, you know, there was just

00:07:04
71

Photo: Group of Aboriginal girls

Lois v/o : that kind of regimentation, punishments were severe. When I eventually

00:07:07
72

Photo: Group of Aboriginal girls

Lois v/o : that kind of regimentation, punishments were severe. When I eventually

00:07:07
73

Lois

Lois sync: went out into the life, out into life I was on my own of course, we had nothing to turn back to. I'm at the age of sixteen, all the girls at the age of sixteen went into domestic employment and the boys went out bush, became stockmen

00:07:15
74

Lois

Lois sync: went out into the life, out into life I was on my own of course, we had nothing to turn back to. I'm at the age of sixteen, all the girls at the age of sixteen went into domestic employment and the boys went out bush, became stockmen

00:07:15
75

Photo: Young Lois

Lois v/o : and on my sixteenth birthday I was told I was going into domestic service.

00:07:33
76

Photo: Young Lois

Lois v/o : and on my sixteenth birthday I was told I was going into domestic service.

00:07:33
77

Lois

Lois sync: So I found myself at Victor Harbour, which is a coastal town, a very nice coastal town but of course fifty miles from the city, which was a long way in those days and out on a farm, out from Victor Harbour. And my only leisure I suppose outside of working for people by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Swinser was to look after the six children on the beach front while they did their shopping in Fridays and then into church on Sunday.

00:07:40
78

Lois

Lois sync: So I found myself at Victor Harbour, which is a coastal town, a very nice coastal town but of course fifty miles from the city, which was a long way in those days and out on a farm, out from Victor Harbour. And my only leisure I suppose outside of working for people by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Swinser was to look after the six children on the beach front while they did their shopping in Fridays and then into church on Sunday.

00:07:40
79

Lois

Lois sync: I was there about two years and in the time that I was there I attended a Baptist Fellowship because they belonged to a Baptist Fellowship in Victor Harbour and attending the Baptist Fellowship was Matron Tuck, the matron of the South Coast District Hospital and I'd made contact with her and had placed my name on the waiting list.

Interviewer o/s: For what?

Lois sync: To become a nurse.

00:08:22
80

Lois

Lois sync: I was there about two years and in the time that I was there I attended a Baptist Fellowship because they belonged to a Baptist Fellowship in Victor Harbour and attending the Baptist Fellowship was Matron Tuck, the matron of the South Coast District Hospital and I'd made contact with her and had placed my name on the waiting list.

Interviewer o/s: For what?

Lois sync: To become a nurse.

00:08:22
81

Photo: Lois in her nurses uniform

Lois v/o : What I'd hoped of course that I would nurse for two years at the South Coast District Hospital and I'd transfer to the Royal Adelaide Hospital but of course

00:08:55
82

Photo: Lois in her nurses uniform

Lois v/o : What I'd hoped of course that I would nurse for two years at the South Coast District Hospital and I'd transfer to the Royal Adelaide Hospital but of course

00:08:55
83

Photo: Four nurses in their uniforms

Lois v/o : the hospital didn't accept Aboriginal girls at that time.

00:09:06
84

Photo: Four nurses in their uniforms

Lois v/o : the hospital didn't accept Aboriginal girls at that time.

00:09:06
85

Lois, zoom out to MCU

Lois sync: I went to see the matron of the hospital and in those days of course I guess, even today of course I haven't subjected myself to an interview situation for many years now but of course in those days we used to make sure that you wore a hat, you wore gloves and you really, you know, presented yourself in a proper manner for an interview. And I had an interview time, saw the matron, matron didn't invite me into the office for the interview, she stood me up in the corridor outside of her office and just told me very bluntly that I should go to Alice Springs and nurse my own people. Alice Springs of course being a place that I had never been to and my own people being a people that I didn't know. So of course that really hurt me but I didn't give up.

00:09:11
86

Lois, zoom out to MCU

Lois sync: I went to see the matron of the hospital and in those days of course I guess, even today of course I haven't subjected myself to an interview situation for many years now but of course in those days we used to make sure that you wore a hat, you wore gloves and you really, you know, presented yourself in a proper manner for an interview. And I had an interview time, saw the matron, matron didn't invite me into the office for the interview, she stood me up in the corridor outside of her office and just told me very bluntly that I should go to Alice Springs and nurse my own people. Alice Springs of course being a place that I had never been to and my own people being a people that I didn't know. So of course that really hurt me but I didn't give up.

00:09:11
87

Photo: Lois in her nurses uniform

Lois v/o : I joined the Aboriginal Advancement League and I travelled

00:10:20
88

Photo: Lois in her nurses uniform

Lois v/o : I joined the Aboriginal Advancement League and I travelled

00:10:20
89

Lois

Lois sync: to Adelaide every week to get involved in their, the organisation and I'd resolved that one of the fights was to actually open the door for Aboriginal women to take up the nursing profession and also for those young men to get into apprenticeships.

00:10:25
90

Lois

Lois sync: to Adelaide every week to get involved in their, the organisation and I'd resolved that one of the fights was to actually open the door for Aboriginal women to take up the nursing profession and also for those young men to get into apprenticeships.

00:10:25
91

Photo: Group of Aboriginal people

Lois v/o : Well I was able to participate in the meetings of the Advancement League, which finally in that

00:10:58
92

Photo: Group of Aboriginal people

Lois v/o : Well I was able to participate in the meetings of the Advancement League, which finally in that

00:10:58
93

Lois, zoom in to BCU

Lois sync: fourth year culminated in a large rally in the Adelaide Town Hall at which we had non-Aboriginal speakers and Aboriginal speakers. I wasn't at this stage one of the, while I was active I wasn't one of the speakers as such, I mean most of the speaking I did of course in those times was making personal representation to members of parliament, personal representations to the matron of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, always being knocked back. And so I was part because we formed a choir for that night and we got massive publicity out of that. That was well of course reported on in the press and it was really as result of that rally that the matron of the Royal Adelaide Hospital wrote to me to say that I could now start at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

00:11:05
94

Lois, zoom in to BCU

Lois sync: fourth year culminated in a large rally in the Adelaide Town Hall at which we had non-Aboriginal speakers and Aboriginal speakers. I wasn't at this stage one of the, while I was active I wasn't one of the speakers as such, I mean most of the speaking I did of course in those times was making personal representation to members of parliament, personal representations to the matron of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, always being knocked back. And so I was part because we formed a choir for that night and we got massive publicity out of that. That was well of course reported on in the press and it was really as result of that rally that the matron of the Royal Adelaide Hospital wrote to me to say that I could now start at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

00:11:05
95

Photo: Interior hospital war, patients in beds being tended to by nurses

Lois v/o : I made sure from the first day at the Royal Adelaide Hospital

00:12:18
96

Photo: Interior hospital war, patients in beds being tended to by nurses

Lois v/o : I made sure from the first day at the Royal Adelaide Hospital

00:12:18
97

Lois

Lois sync: that I was going to be the best nurse that that hospital had ever had and I worked hard at it in more ways than one. I made sure that my shoes were shinier,

00:12:24
98

Lois

Lois sync: that I was going to be the best nurse that that hospital had ever had and I worked hard at it in more ways than one. I made sure that my shoes were shinier,

00:12:24
99

Photo: Lois and another five nurses

Lois v/o : my uniforms were whiter and that I was always on time.

00:12:39
100

Photo: Lois and another five nurses

Lois v/o : my uniforms were whiter and that I was always on time.

00:12:39
101

Photo: Royal Adelaide Hospital building

Lois v/o : So I was at the Royal Adelaide Hospital from 1954 to 1961.

00:12:45
102

Photo: Royal Adelaide Hospital building

Lois v/o : So I was at the Royal Adelaide Hospital from 1954 to 1961.

00:12:45
103

Lois

Lois sync: I actually decided at that stage, I had the opportunity of going to India with the Australian Baptist Mission, not as a missionary but as a relief nurse for those missionaries who hadn't been home on furlough as they called it for some ten years.

00:12:52
104

Lois

Lois sync: I actually decided at that stage, I had the opportunity of going to India with the Australian Baptist Mission, not as a missionary but as a relief nurse for those missionaries who hadn't been home on furlough as they called it for some ten years.

00:12:52
105

Photo: Lois

Lois v/o : So I left for India. There were no doctors, children

00:13:12
106

Photo: Lois

Lois v/o : So I left for India. There were no doctors, children

00:13:12
107

Lois

Lois sync: if they didn't survive 'til two years would, a lot of children of course died of malaria and I myself came down with malaria when I got back to Australia but that was due of course to sitting in the villages, you know, every night getting bitten by those great mosquitos.

00:13:18
108

Lois

Lois sync: if they didn't survive 'til two years would, a lot of children of course died of malaria and I myself came down with malaria when I got back to Australia but that was due of course to sitting in the villages, you know, every night getting bitten by those great mosquitos.

00:13:18
109

Photo: Lois and an Indian baby

Interviewer o/s: While you were nursing in India was there any particular incident where you felt that you'd done a good job?

00:13:40
110

Photo: Lois and an Indian baby

Interviewer o/s: While you were nursing in India was there any particular incident where you felt that you'd done a good job?

00:13:40
111

Lois

Lois sync: Well it was the delivery of a set of twins and in fact to have a live birth was really wonderful and to in fact have a successful delivery of twins and of course I looked after them for many, many, many months

00:13:47
112

Lois

Lois sync: Well it was the delivery of a set of twins and in fact to have a live birth was really wonderful and to in fact have a successful delivery of twins and of course I looked after them for many, many, many months

00:13:47
113

Photo: Lois, tilt down to reveal tiny Indian babies

Lois v/o : and there was an exhibition in the village at that time and one was named Exie and the other one was named Bishop.

00:14:11
114

Photo: Lois, tilt down to reveal tiny Indian babies

Lois v/o : and there was an exhibition in the village at that time and one was named Exie and the other one was named Bishop.

00:14:11
115

Lois

Interviewer o/s: Now travelling away from Australia, did that give you a different perspective on who you were?

Lois sync: Well it gave me a different perspective that in fact

00:14:19
116

Lois

Interviewer o/s: Now travelling away from Australia, did that give you a different perspective on who you were?

Lois sync: Well it gave me a different perspective that in fact

00:14:19
117

Archival footage: Landscape, tilt down to reveal Aboriginal people sitting around a fire

Lois v/o : the Australian Aborigines weren't the only people that had been colonised

00:14:30
118

Archival footage: Landscape, tilt down to reveal Aboriginal people sitting around a fire

Lois v/o : the Australian Aborigines weren't the only people that had been colonised

00:14:30
119

Archival footage: Aboriginal woman's face

00:14:34
120

Archival footage: Aboriginal woman's face

00:14:34
121

Archival footage: Aboriginal people sitting beside a fire

Lois v/o : and that

00:14:37
122

Archival footage: Aboriginal people sitting beside a fire

Lois v/o : and that

00:14:37
123

Archival footage: Aboriginal baby and little girl

Lois v/o : they weren't the only people

00:14:39
124

Archival footage: Aboriginal baby and little girl

Lois v/o : they weren't the only people

00:14:39
125

Archival footage: Aboriginal man's face

Lois v/o : who were dispossessed and it was really at this

00:14:42
126

Archival footage: Aboriginal man's face

Lois v/o : who were dispossessed and it was really at this

00:14:42
127

Archival footage: Aboriginal people sitting in circle

Lois v/o : time that I felt that I was ready to actually

00:14:45
128

Archival footage: Aboriginal people sitting in circle

Lois v/o : time that I felt that I was ready to actually

00:14:45
129

Archival footage: Aboriginal man

Lois v/o : work amongst my own people.

00:14:49
130

Archival footage: Aboriginal man

Lois v/o : work amongst my own people.

00:14:49
131

Archival footage: Aboriginal man and girl playing with a dog , tilt to follow dog to group of other dogs

Lois v/o : And of course my motive for joining the Department of Aboriginal Affairs

00:14:52
132

Archival footage: Aboriginal man and girl playing with a dog , tilt to follow dog to group of other dogs

Lois v/o : And of course my motive for joining the Department of Aboriginal Affairs

00:14:52
133

Lois

Lois sync: was first to find my mother and to second to do a job in a community as close to Pitjantjatjara lands as I could find. So I was successful in getting a job as a nursing sister/welfare officer at Coober Pedy, which is the mining town right on the edge of Pitjantjatjara lands.

00:14:59
134

Lois

Lois sync: was first to find my mother and to second to do a job in a community as close to Pitjantjatjara lands as I could find. So I was successful in getting a job as a nursing sister/welfare officer at Coober Pedy, which is the mining town right on the edge of Pitjantjatjara lands.

00:14:59
135

Photo: Lois

Interviewer o/s: So over all these years, the thought of Lily had stayed with you?

00:15:29
136

Photo: Lois

Interviewer o/s: So over all these years, the thought of Lily had stayed with you?

00:15:29
137

Lois

Lois sync: Yes all the time and in fact if I was ever, and I'm not an angry person, but if ever I was angry I was angry about what had happened. Not for my own sake but for my mother's sake because I'd always thought about what my mother was feeling and whether in fact she cared and whether in fact she ever asked the question where her children might be.

Interviewer o/s: So did you find her?

Lois sync: Yes I did. I mean I arrived in the town of Cooper Pedy, I went to the supermarket to get my stores to go out to what was known as the Aboriginal reserve at that time and of course I'm talking about the seventies, talking about the late sixties actually and there was a group of Aboriginal people sitting outside the supermarket who said "That's Lily's daughter." And with that of course I'd known some of the language so I went over in the language and said, "Yes you're right I am Lily's daughter and..."

Interviewer o/s: That was just from your appearance?

Lois sync: Just from the family resemblance

00:15:34
138

Lois

Lois sync: Yes all the time and in fact if I was ever, and I'm not an angry person, but if ever I was angry I was angry about what had happened. Not for my own sake but for my mother's sake because I'd always thought about what my mother was feeling and whether in fact she cared and whether in fact she ever asked the question where her children might be.

Interviewer o/s: So did you find her?

Lois sync: Yes I did. I mean I arrived in the town of Cooper Pedy, I went to the supermarket to get my stores to go out to what was known as the Aboriginal reserve at that time and of course I'm talking about the seventies, talking about the late sixties actually and there was a group of Aboriginal people sitting outside the supermarket who said "That's Lily's daughter." And with that of course I'd known some of the language so I went over in the language and said, "Yes you're right I am Lily's daughter and..."

Interviewer o/s: That was just from your appearance?

Lois sync: Just from the family resemblance

00:15:34
139

Photo: Lois and her mother

Interviewer o/s: How did you feel when you saw your mother?

Lois v/o : Well I was happy,

00:17:02
140

Photo: Lois and her mother

Interviewer o/s: How did you feel when you saw your mother?

Lois v/o : Well I was happy,

00:17:02
141

Lois

00:17:09
142

Lois

00:17:09
143

Photo: Lois and two small children standing in front of the humpy

Interviewer o/s: What sort of conditions was she living in?

Lois v/o : Well the conditions were just

00:17:37
144

Photo: Lois and two small children standing in front of the humpy

Interviewer o/s: What sort of conditions was she living in?

Lois v/o : Well the conditions were just

00:17:37
145

Lois

Lois sync: a corrugated iron humpy and of course there were no benefits flowing to any of the people there and of course by this time my mother as well as the rest of the community were involved in the things that happened in Aboriginal communities, that people who are dispossessed in that sort of way and she was, you know, sort of hitting the grog, you know, sort of very badly and so was my two sisters because there were two other sisters that I'd met at that time as well.

00:17:43
146

Lois

Lois sync: a corrugated iron humpy and of course there were no benefits flowing to any of the people there and of course by this time my mother as well as the rest of the community were involved in the things that happened in Aboriginal communities, that people who are dispossessed in that sort of way and she was, you know, sort of hitting the grog, you know, sort of very badly and so was my two sisters because there were two other sisters that I'd met at that time as well.

00:17:43
147

Photo: Lois and her mother

Lois v/o : You know there were very, very mixed feelings.

00:18:26
148

Photo: Lois and her mother

Lois v/o : You know there were very, very mixed feelings.

00:18:26
149

Lois, zoom in BCU

Lois sync: Never a feeling of course of rejection, never a feeling of rejection but a feeling of sadness, reaching out to her because of what had happened and thinking about what she must have been through for all those years and of course a feeling of inadequacy I suppose of how we were going to cope.

00:18:31
150

Lois, zoom in BCU

Lois sync: Never a feeling of course of rejection, never a feeling of rejection but a feeling of sadness, reaching out to her because of what had happened and thinking about what she must have been through for all those years and of course a feeling of inadequacy I suppose of how we were going to cope.

00:18:31
151

Photo: Lois' mother in front of an old car

Interviewer o/s: She knew you were coming from the grapevine, had she been waiting for you?

00:19:03
152

Photo: Lois' mother in front of an old car

Interviewer o/s: She knew you were coming from the grapevine, had she been waiting for you?

00:19:03
153

Lois, zoom out to CU

Lois sync: Yes she had. She had waited three months. From the day that she heard that I was in the area she had waited on the road from sun up until sun down and on the night that we came of course we'd come in very late so she had to sort of return because I mean her camp of course had no lighting so I mean once it was dark it was really time to settle down.

Interviewer o/s: Even now you feel emotional when you think about this?

Lois sync: Yes I do I never, I just can't cope with the, you know, with thoughts of what has happened and not for myself but for all those years that she in fact

00:19:07
154

Lois, zoom out to CU

Lois sync: Yes she had. She had waited three months. From the day that she heard that I was in the area she had waited on the road from sun up until sun down and on the night that we came of course we'd come in very late so she had to sort of return because I mean her camp of course had no lighting so I mean once it was dark it was really time to settle down.

Interviewer o/s: Even now you feel emotional when you think about this?

Lois sync: Yes I do I never, I just can't cope with the, you know, with thoughts of what has happened and not for myself but for all those years that she in fact

00:19:07
155

Photo: Lois, her mother and sister

Lois v/o : didn't know where her family were

00:20:11
156

Photo: Lois, her mother and sister

Lois v/o : didn't know where her family were

00:20:11
157

Lois

Interviewer o/s: But given what happened to your two sisters who weren't taken away did you ever think about the possibility that had you remained you might have ended up like that?

Lois sync: Well yes it has and I'd thought about that but on the other hand I don't think one could ever condone what had happened to us and while I feel not so much about, I've not really thought too much about the fact that I could have ended up in the same way but the thing that really I guess was impressed upon my mind because I'd learnt also at the same time that I had a promised husband and I guess that was the thought more than anything that I'd, I was glad that in fact that I'd not stayed.

00:20:16
158

Lois

Interviewer o/s: But given what happened to your two sisters who weren't taken away did you ever think about the possibility that had you remained you might have ended up like that?

Lois sync: Well yes it has and I'd thought about that but on the other hand I don't think one could ever condone what had happened to us and while I feel not so much about, I've not really thought too much about the fact that I could have ended up in the same way but the thing that really I guess was impressed upon my mind because I'd learnt also at the same time that I had a promised husband and I guess that was the thought more than anything that I'd, I was glad that in fact that I'd not stayed.

00:20:16
159

Photo: Lois

Interviewer o/s: Now after meeting your mother, by this time you were over thirty-five, what part

00:21:21
160

Photo: Lois

Interviewer o/s: Now after meeting your mother, by this time you were over thirty-five, what part

00:21:21
161

Lois

Interviewer o/s: were men playing in your life at this time?

Lois sync: Well I had actually. When I went to the, after I came back from India I met a man by the name of Gordon Plumis Smart who was a medical orderly at the hospital that I was working at and he of course had indicated to me how he felt about me and I was actually quite, I suppose surprised about that. But the difficulty with that was that he was a married man with a family and I'd been brought up of course quite strictly in relation to those sorts of matters

00:21:28
162

Lois

Interviewer o/s: were men playing in your life at this time?

Lois sync: Well I had actually. When I went to the, after I came back from India I met a man by the name of Gordon Plumis Smart who was a medical orderly at the hospital that I was working at and he of course had indicated to me how he felt about me and I was actually quite, I suppose surprised about that. But the difficulty with that was that he was a married man with a family and I'd been brought up of course quite strictly in relation to those sorts of matters

00:21:28
163

Lois

Lois sync: so I indicated to him that he should discharge his responsibilities to his young family and that if in fact I was still around and available when his children were off his hands well then obviously I'd be interested. So I guess throughout the whole period,

00:22:17
164

Lois

Lois sync: so I indicated to him that he should discharge his responsibilities to his young family and that if in fact I was still around and available when his children were off his hands well then obviously I'd be interested. So I guess throughout the whole period,

00:22:17
165

Photo: Lois and Gordon

Lois v/o : we finally married of course in 1979 and

00:22:45
166

Photo: Lois and Gordon

Lois v/o : we finally married of course in 1979 and

00:22:45
167

Photo: Lois and Gordon on their wedding day

Lois v/o : we bought this house together and

00:22:50
168

Photo: Lois and Gordon on their wedding day

Lois v/o : we bought this house together and

00:22:50
169

Lois

Lois sync: I quickly found a job with the education department as a

00:22:55
170

Lois

Lois sync: I quickly found a job with the education department as a

00:22:55
171

Photo: Lois

Lois v/o : Aboriginal Liaison Officer but within a very short space of time

00:23:00
172

Photo: Lois

Lois v/o : Aboriginal Liaison Officer but within a very short space of time

00:23:00
173

Lois

Lois sync: the National Aboriginal Conference Elections were to be held

00:23:05
174

Lois

Lois sync: the National Aboriginal Conference Elections were to be held

00:23:05
175

Photo: Lois

Lois v/o : and I nominated for the election and got, and was elected

00:23:11
176

Photo: Lois

Lois v/o : and I nominated for the election and got, and was elected

00:23:11
177

Lois

Lois sync: and became the first chairperson of the National Aboriginal Conference.

00:23:17
178

Lois

Lois sync: and became the first chairperson of the National Aboriginal Conference.

00:23:17
179

Photo: Lois and a politician

Lois v/o : But then I was invited to give advice to the government on a replacement body for NAC

00:23:23
180

Photo: Lois and a politician

Lois v/o : But then I was invited to give advice to the government on a replacement body for NAC

00:23:23
181

Lois

Lois sync: and I advised the government on a structure, the structure that we now have as ATSIC.

00:23:31
182

Lois

Lois sync: and I advised the government on a structure, the structure that we now have as ATSIC.

00:23:31
183

Photo: Lois and Gerry Hand

Lois v/o : Gerry Hand did widespread consultation in relation to the boundaries

00:23:41
184

Photo: Lois and Gerry Hand

Lois v/o : Gerry Hand did widespread consultation in relation to the boundaries

00:23:41
185

Lois

Lois sync: for the elected representatives and I've said to him and I've said to others he agreed with every, every boundary that was drawn on the maps and we ended up with sixty regional councils and eight hundred elected representatives.

00:23:47
186

Lois

Lois sync: for the elected representatives and I've said to him and I've said to others he agreed with every, every boundary that was drawn on the maps and we ended up with sixty regional councils and eight hundred elected representatives.

00:23:47
187

News footage: Parliament

Super: Canberra

ABC News Brenda Conroy Reporting

News reporter v/o : The guillotine fell on the Mabo Legislation just two

00:24:06
188

News footage: Parliament

Super: Canberra

ABC News Brenda Conroy Reporting

News reporter v/o : The guillotine fell on the Mabo Legislation just two

00:24:06
189

News footage: Gareth Evans in parliament

Super: Sen Gareth Evans
Senate Leader

December 1993

Dissolve to:

News reported v/o : hours into this morning's debate.

Gareth Evans sync: MCU Chairman I declare that the Native Title Bill 1993 is an urgent bill...

News reporter v/o : It

00:24:09
190

News footage: Gareth Evans in parliament

Super: Sen Gareth Evans
Senate Leader

December 1993

Dissolve to:

News reported v/o : hours into this morning's debate.

Gareth Evans sync: MCU Chairman I declare that the Native Title Bill 1993 is an urgent bill...

News reporter v/o : It

00:24:09
191

News footage: Robert Hill in parliament

Super: December 1993

Sen. Robert Hill
Senate Leader

News reporter v/o : sparked one of the Senate's most heated debates.

Robert Hill sync: What a disgrace!

Politician o/s : Your time as expired Senator

Robert Hill sync: There isn't only one alternative to this government in this chamber and in Australia...

00:24:17
192

News footage: Robert Hill in parliament

Super: December 1993

Sen. Robert Hill
Senate Leader

News reporter v/o : sparked one of the Senate's most heated debates.

Robert Hill sync: What a disgrace!

Politician o/s : Your time as expired Senator

Robert Hill sync: There isn't only one alternative to this government in this chamber and in Australia...

00:24:17
193

News footage: Gareth Evans

Senator Gareth Evans sync: You have wasted time.

00:24:25
194

News footage: Gareth Evans

Senator Gareth Evans sync: You have wasted time.

00:24:25
195

News footage: Parliament in session, reverse on Gareth Evans

Senator Gareth Evans sync: You have misused the practice of this place.

Politicians sync: Hear! Hear!

Senator Gareth Evans sync: you have approached this bill in a way that has been contemptible and

00:24:27
196

News footage: Parliament in session, reverse on Gareth Evans

Senator Gareth Evans sync: You have misused the practice of this place.

Politicians sync: Hear! Hear!

Senator Gareth Evans sync: you have approached this bill in a way that has been contemptible and

00:24:27
197

News footage: Gareth Evans

Senator Gareth Evans sync: despicable from the outset.

News reporter v/o : The government won the right to bring the debate

00:24:34
198

News footage: Gareth Evans

Senator Gareth Evans sync: despicable from the outset.

News reporter v/o : The government won the right to bring the debate

00:24:34
199

News footage: Parliament in session, reverse on Gareth Evans

Dissolve to:

News reporter v/o : to an end later tonight but the greater victory was to come when the

00:24:38
200

News footage: Parliament in session, reverse on Gareth Evans

Dissolve to:

News reporter v/o : to an end later tonight but the greater victory was to come when the

00:24:38
201

News footage: Sen Christabel Charmarette at a press conference

News reporter v/o : Green's announced that they would support the bill in that vote.

00:24:41
202

News footage: Sen Christabel Charmarette at a press conference

News reporter v/o : Green's announced that they would support the bill in that vote.

00:24:41
203

News footage: Sen Christabel Charmarette

Super : Sen Christabel Charmarette
WA Green

00:24:45
204

News footage: Sen Christabel Charmarette

Super : Sen Christabel Charmarette
WA Green

00:24:45
205

Archival footage: Aboriginal stockmen walking along a fence line

Senator Christabel Charmarette: We fought it to a point where we can support it and we're glad.

News reporter v/o : Under the compromised deal negotiated today the

00:24:49
206

Archival footage: Aboriginal stockmen walking along a fence line

Senator Christabel Charmarette: We fought it to a point where we can support it and we're glad.

News reporter v/o : Under the compromised deal negotiated today the

00:24:49
207

Archival footage: Aboriginal people walking along track

News reporter v/o : traditional rights of Aboriginal people living on land

00:24:51
208

Archival footage: Aboriginal people walking along track

News reporter v/o : traditional rights of Aboriginal people living on land

00:24:51
209

Archival footage: Aboriginal man on a horse, mustering

News reporter v/o : under pastoral lease will be preserved.

00:24:54
210

Archival footage: Aboriginal man on a horse, mustering

News reporter v/o : under pastoral lease will be preserved.

00:24:54
211

Archival footage: Lois shaking Paul Keating's hand

SFX: Applause

00:24:56
212

Archival footage: Lois shaking Paul Keating's hand

SFX: Applause

00:24:56
213

Newspaper article: Mabo win for PM at last

Lois v/o : It was very heady days of course

00:25:00
214

Newspaper article: Mabo win for PM at last

Lois v/o : It was very heady days of course

00:25:00
215

Lois

Lois sync: last year while we were negotiating.

00:25:04
216

Lois

Lois sync: last year while we were negotiating.

00:25:04
217

Archival footage: Lois convening a press conference

Lois v/o : My own particular role in it of course was

00:25:07
218

Archival footage: Lois convening a press conference

Lois v/o : My own particular role in it of course was

00:25:07
219

Archival footage: Lois convening a press conference

00:25:10
220

Archival footage: Lois convening a press conference

00:25:10
221

Archival footage: Press conference

Lois v/o : only a member of the team

00:25:12
222

Archival footage: Press conference

Lois v/o : only a member of the team

00:25:12
223

Lois

Lois sync: but a senior member of the team and

00:25:14
224

Lois

Lois sync: but a senior member of the team and

00:25:14
225

Photo: Lois shaking hands with Paul Keating

Lois v/o : we really at the end of the day had to come out with a result.

00:25:17
226

Photo: Lois shaking hands with Paul Keating

Lois v/o : we really at the end of the day had to come out with a result.

00:25:17
227

Archival footage: Paul Keating addressing a group

Super: December 1992

Paul Keating sync: We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life.

00:25:21
228

Archival footage: Paul Keating addressing a group

Super: December 1992

Paul Keating sync: We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life.

00:25:21
229

Archival footage: People and children watching Paul Keating speak

Paul Keating v/o : We brought the diseases and the alcohol.

00:25:26
230

Archival footage: People and children watching Paul Keating speak

Paul Keating v/o : We brought the diseases and the alcohol.

00:25:26
231

Archival footage: Paul Keating addressing a crowd

Paul Keating sync: We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers.

00:25:31
232

Archival footage: Paul Keating addressing a crowd

Paul Keating sync: We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers.

00:25:31
233

Archival footage: Aerial view of crowd

Paul Keating v/o : We practised

00:25:37
234

Archival footage: Aerial view of crowd

Paul Keating v/o : We practised

00:25:37
235

Archival footage: Aboriginal people watching Paul Keating speak

Paul Keating v/o : discrimination and exclusion.

00:25:39
236

Archival footage: Aboriginal people watching Paul Keating speak

Paul Keating v/o : discrimination and exclusion.

00:25:39
237

Archival footage: People watching Paul Keating speak

Paul Keating v/o : It was our

00:25:41
238

Archival footage: People watching Paul Keating speak

Paul Keating v/o : It was our

00:25:41
239

Archival footage: Paul Keating addressing a crowd

Paul Keating sync: ignorance and our prejudice.

00:25:43
240

Archival footage: Paul Keating addressing a crowd

Paul Keating sync: ignorance and our prejudice.

00:25:43
241

Lois

Interviewer o/s: Who or what do you blame for the fact that you were torn from your mother?

Lois sync: Well I lay the blame of course at the feet of the mission authorities.

00:25:46
242

Lois

Interviewer o/s: Who or what do you blame for the fact that you were torn from your mother?

Lois sync: Well I lay the blame of course at the feet of the mission authorities.

00:25:46
243

Photo: Children of Colebrook

Lois v/o : Their prime aim of course was to Christianise the Aboriginal people

00:26:00
244

Photo: Children of Colebrook

Lois v/o : Their prime aim of course was to Christianise the Aboriginal people

00:26:00
245

Lois, zoom in to CU

Lois sync: so it really is the mission authorities that I blame entirely for the removal of the children and also for their attitude towards the Aboriginal culture as being pagan

00:26:06
246

Lois, zoom in to CU

Lois sync: so it really is the mission authorities that I blame entirely for the removal of the children and also for their attitude towards the Aboriginal culture as being pagan

00:26:06
247

Photo: Group of Aboriginal children

Lois v/o : and to be rooted out at all costs.

00:26:33
248

Photo: Group of Aboriginal children

Lois v/o : and to be rooted out at all costs.

00:26:33
249

Lois, zoom in to CU

Interviewer o/s: Do you feel any resentment towards white Australia?

Lois sync: No I don't.

Interviewer o/s: You don't resent the white community? You don't resent an Australia that didn't give Aborigines a proper place and Australia that hasn't been able to get much right for Aborigines, you don't feel resentment?

Lois dust storms No I don't and I don't think it's a very healthy feeling to have because to be resentful I think is, just stands in the way of moving forward.

00:26:38
250

Lois, zoom in to CU

Interviewer o/s: Do you feel any resentment towards white Australia?

Lois sync: No I don't.

Interviewer o/s: You don't resent the white community? You don't resent an Australia that didn't give Aborigines a proper place and Australia that hasn't been able to get much right for Aborigines, you don't feel resentment?

Lois dust storms No I don't and I don't think it's a very healthy feeling to have because to be resentful I think is, just stands in the way of moving forward.

00:26:38
251

Postage stamp photo sequence

Credits:

Interviewer: Robin Hughes

Camera: Andrzej Lada

Sound Recording: Tim Parratt

Sound Mixing: Robert Sullivan

Research: Frank Heimans

00:27:20
252

Postage stamp photo sequence

Credits:

Interviewer: Robin Hughes

Camera: Andrzej Lada

Sound Recording: Tim Parratt

Sound Mixing: Robert Sullivan

Research: Frank Heimans

00:27:20
253

Postage stamp photo sequence

Credits continued:

Production Manager: Frank Haines

Production Accountant: Carolyn Johnson

Production Assistant: Amanda Howitt

Production Co-ordinator: Jane Manning

On-Line Editor: Phil Stuart-Jones

00:27:36
254

Postage stamp photo sequence

Credits continued:

Production Manager: Frank Haines

Production Accountant: Carolyn Johnson

Production Assistant: Amanda Howitt

Production Co-ordinator: Jane Manning

On-Line Editor: Phil Stuart-Jones

00:27:36
255

Postage stamp photo sequence

Credits continued:

Marketing Executive: Kaye Warren

Publicity: Lesna Thomas

Film Australia would like to thank

Lois O'Donoghue
The staff of ATSIC
Mortlock Library of Australiana SA
ABC TV Archives

00:27:49
256

Postage stamp photo sequence

Credits continued:

Marketing Executive: Kaye Warren

Publicity: Lesna Thomas

Film Australia would like to thank

Lois O'Donoghue
The staff of ATSIC
Mortlock Library of Australiana SA
ABC TV Archives

00:27:49
257

Postage stamp photo sequence

Credits continued:

Film Australia would like to thank:

Channel 9 Adelaide
John Fairfax Ltd
Canberra Times
The Age

Producer/Director/Writer/Editor: Frank Heimans

Executive Producer: Sharon Connolly

00:27:57
258

Postage stamp photo sequence

Credits continued:

Film Australia would like to thank:

Channel 9 Adelaide
John Fairfax Ltd
Canberra Times
The Age

Producer/Director/Writer/Editor: Frank Heimans

Executive Producer: Sharon Connolly

00:27:57
259

Film Australia logo
Copyright MCMXCIV

Fade to black

00:28:09
260

Film Australia logo
Copyright MCMXCIV

Fade to black

00:28:09
Copyright & Legal