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(generated from captions) 60 years ago, we were separated. has been a new beginning for me. but her end to start this story, may seem a very strange place MAN: The end of my mother's journey # Lay me in the arms of God. # # Is over # When the journey # Lay me in the arms of God SONG: # Lay me in the arms of Jesus the places of the dead. and make holy You sanctify the homes of the living for Your kindness. We praise and bless You for Your mercy. MAN: We praise and bless You Here's Case 442. in north-western Australia. and return her to her home country determination to find his mother This film is about a son's called Case 442. of a 2-part documentary This week we bring you the first part special edition of Message Stick. And thanks for joining me for this Hi. I'm Rachael Maza. THEME MUSIC

I don't know how long I cried, but... Cried for mother, you know? I had nowhere to go. I just cried. the gateway. Don't even go there." And then the man, he say, "There's out of sight they just let me go. Then soon as the truck went I went mad. I just didn't know what to do. Two men was holding me. and being driven away. and the old fellow get on the truck and I watched my mother and the truck was standing outside, And there's a fence round it that was married to my mother. Me, Mum and the old fellow And they took us to Moola Bulla. but it was a truck. I can't tell you what truck it was, And they just put us on the truck. I'm sure it was in the morning. It was in the morning. when I was taken away from her. For me, it all began from that day 42 years after she passed away. in her own country and I'm putting her to rest Now I'm putting her to rest, To do that I had to be strong. to find her and bring her back home. I always had it in my mind never broke. The bond that existed between us I was only five years old.

to have a read through it And he asked me referred to me in November, 2000. Frank Byrne's case was first OK. That's it. Yeah, crucifix on the top, Uncle. wouldn't it? And there's a crucifix to go on that, but it's all part of it. Not necessarily the same as that, Oh, yeah, right. Why it's set in... Yeah, well, sort of. That's it, there. to her country in the Kimberleys. Take her back home away from this city. I've gotta get her They helped me. strong people, good people. who could help me - And then, in the end, we found people right to Beagle Bay, even. from Alice Springs to Fitzroy ..I done three or four trips we were apart I... Every year for all that time Just watch your head. OK, thank you, mate. Are you right there? many, many other kids. And not only me - That's when it started for me. This was a game of...survival. But that's when my...struggle began. that were there. you know, the other kids some kids, Maybe I played with some blokes, I was just lost. week after, month after. or even the day after, It wasn't a good day for me - It wasn't a good thing.

through talking on the phone. We've become friends, you know, of three years to get to this point. and it's taken me the best part That was in November, 2000, and she came straight up. the cemetery board records, I got on to and then once I had the surname And it gave a surname there, and his other wives. who was Maudie's tribal husband, it made reference to Linbern, in 1938, of people at Christmas Creek Station So there, and on the other list And he said, "Yes. That's me." "Do you know the name 'Goondarrie'?" So I rang him up and said, to Frank as a child. and it gave reference and I pulled it apart, And it was half a page to the rest of the file. and it was stuck on on the actual back page, and it was right that gave me a clue, that I'd got access to in the Christmas Creek file, And it was only to find out where she really was. because we needed that to his mother's surname but they didn't give any clues And they talked about Frank, Creek and read through them. I got a couple of files on Christmas "You stay there, please," you know. Now you're the main one. "I've already lost one contact. don't go, please, stay there. but I said, "You better... She nearly leave that job, that you don't know. you know, answers to the questions searching for all his life, And that's what he's been or what, you know, from what. But he didn't know where, when is that he was told his mother died. and that's his vivid memory of it - you know, by a priest at Beagle Bay, that his mother had died, He was told 'cause he had tried so many things. he was getting frustrated At that time and see what I could find out.

going back and forth? And now here we are, and we're gonna complete this. You know, this journey, we've got to finish it and we've gotta finalise it. (Sobs) We couldn't have done it without you. I know, and that's where my strength comes from, alright? You know that. Yeah, well, we've all gotta give each other strength, don't we, you what I mean? That's right. We're all on the journey for the right reasons. You remember that. We're all stolen generation people. And it's also part of our own healing, eh? for us in the bush, eh, And you've been doing such good work but I've never met you, personally. I've seen you around lots of places, I've seen you... Up and down, emails... Justin. Oh, it's been a long journey, eh? Good to see you too. Pleased to meet you. actually met you, personally. So, here we are. Hi. I haven't Yeah. you sound really like me. But you sound... You did say. No! Yeah, that's right. think you look like a gurrya," eh? Over the phone, you said, "Oh, I True? You did say that to me, eh? You actually look like I imagined. You look beautiful, anyway. (Laughs) That's OK. I didn't know how to meet you. I know! I do. for years and years. Seems like I've known you Mmm, very good. How are you? How are you? Seems like I... Hello. Hello. I got a job there straightaway. a rapport with one another. you know, It's actually...we built up quite, so it's more than just another case. and things like that, and I gotta comfort him And sometimes he cries, you know, all the time. because we talk so closely you know, because it's as if I do know him, to meeting him I'm actually looking forward And it's just that we haven't met. she knew me and I know her, you know? It was like,

Well, that's true, yep. MAN: Yeah, he's got a copy. Well, it says "police should have information regarding the child "at Fitzroy Crossing." Oh, it says that there? Yeah. In reference to you. I wasn't taken, then, or was I taken already? No, they was talking about getting ready. Talking about getting ready to take you. Well, I didn't need to be taken away from my mother, if you wanna put it that way, because I was well looked after there. I had no problem. MAN: "In reference to the half-caste boy, Frank, "I note that the boy is only 12 months old. "The boy's father, Jack Byrne, "is the station cook at Christmas Creek." MAN: "As Frank is now five years old, "I'm rather anxious that he should be removed for educational purposes. "Possibly you could arrange for the removal..." MAN: "Will not give Byrne any control of the boy, "as according to section eight of the Native Administration Act "I am the legal guardian of every native child "notwithstanding that the child has a parent or other relative living "until the child obtains the age of 21. "Commissioner of Native Affairs." They took us away to go to school in Moola Bulla. There was no school there. There was nothing there, absolutely nothing there. If you got some sort of tucker from there, you'd be lucky, but then some bigfella didn't take it off you. That's the way it went on for all that time I was in Moola Bulla. But when we got to Beagle Bay Mission it was a different story there. They had everything there, you know, like gardeners and... We made it happen, you know, we getting big, now, this time, and we're doing things. At least we had a dining room there and we all got a feed out of it there. Then we went to school. We went to school. We were disciplined properly, you know. We learnt to pray in Latin, sing in Latin. It was a... I don't know what we were praying about in Latin or singing in Latin, but, still, it was a wonderful sound, you know, when we sing. Beagle Bay was good, you know, it wasn't too bad at all. I mean, but still we shouldn't be there. I hear a lot of things. We were put there for this purpose, that purpose. We had that many purposes we didn't know what purpose. And...but... To me... No, I don't know what purpose they put us there. All they done was wreck my life and my mother's life, you know? Well, I know straightaway, as soon as I was taken away from her, her spirit was broken, her heart was broken, her life was shattered. It wasn't too long before she lost it. HAUNTING VOICES They must have thought that she was real mad and they then took her to Claremont, to the mental hospital there. Whatever happened there, I don't know, but according to her files I got there, she wasn't... she could have come back home. WOMAN: She wasn't plumpish. She had a little round face, but she sort of had the natural, curly hair. Some people would have found she was withdrawn, very quiet and didn't want to... ..she wasn't one of the persons that would go out and start a conversation or anything, she was very quiet, withdrawn in herself. Well, she probably had a breakdown when they took her son away. I mean, she must have worried about that all her life, all what she'd been through, remembering back on her... She would have had a sad life, when you come to think of it. No, no, I'd say that's probably what all the problem was where she went, had the breakdown and was brought down here to Claremont. Good morning. Evelyn, is it? Hello. How are we? Good, thank you. Good morning. I'm Justin Howard. Hi, Justin. Evelyn. And, Frank, this is... Hello, Frank. Pleased to meet you, after all these years, eh? Yep, yep. Give us a cuddle. Really lovely. Yeah, it is, you know. I don't want to lose it, either. No, that's right. I don't want to break down or anything. If you're strong, well, I'll be strong too. (Laughs) Oh, dear. Thank God that you're here. Yes. 'Cause I can see you and talk to you, you know. That's right. It's wonderful. No, your mum was a lovely lady. Yeah, I see in the records said that she hadn't really lost it all, you know. No! She was pretty sane. That's right. I guess she was craving for me because I was her only son, you know. That's right. Yeah. Yeah, see, the matron had security windows on hers, we didn't. This was her little garden, here. That's where the matron... Oh! We go in and have a look where she used to live? Stairs going up. She loved going over to the children's ward to help look after the kids and get them help, get them showered and dressed, and that was... Once...she was looking very sad one day, and I said to her, "Maudie, have you got a family?" Because there was never any visitors came to see any of them. And she started...tears welled up in her eyes, and I thought, "Oh, I'll get off that subject." Because I could see it was upsetting her. She must have been why she was so quiet, brooding in the background all the time, that she must have wondered what her son looked like. I'm glad they're not gonna pull it down, I really am. I would have hated to be locked up, because there was no way anybody seemed to get out. Soon as she was put in here, in this place here... ..she never, ever got out of this place, ever, to come back to the country to see me or I see her. She was here for 18 years. This is where she stop and this is where she...passed away. I feel for Frank because he's suffering inwardly. All these years he's been bottled up inside of him. He's gotta get it out or he'll crack up too, you know. Oh! Oh, this is lovely. And then this seems to be some sort of a play group...a music group up in the hall where we just were. Her mental state was...I couldn't understand why she was there. There must have been something that happened in the early days that we didn't know about. Were these people patients? That was Dolly. Yeah, they were all patients. But she always seemed normal enough to me. And there was, some of the ladies, they all got quite violent, but never, ever did I see Maudie get violent. She was a placid little person...loveable person, actually. I always took a great liking to her, you know. It's the daybook. It's showing how many patients, female patients - it's a female daybook. Showing how many patients in the hospital on that day. So, there were 564 in the morning. One was actually discharged, which would have been quite unusual, I think. A lot of people don't understand the pain that we go through all through these years that we've been separated, you know? And that's what made me more determined to find her, and to get her from here and take her home... ..and give her a decent burial and pay my last respects to my mother - best mate I would have had in all my lifetime, you know? And I'm sure Evelyn, here, when she say, you know, they took care of them, there, well, I'm sure they did that. And I'm very glad that we find a person like her still here to give us a tour around the place and talk about things, you know. I think she's a wonderful person. Hello. Father... Hello, Justin. I didn't recognise you. I thought it might have been Pat Dodson except minus the beard. Frank Byrnes. I'm Frank Byrnes. Father Carney sends his best regards to you. He says he remembers you quite clearly as a good man, and he said to say hello to you. Very good. Yeah. Well, he's the sheriff up there now. He took over from George W. Bush. The... You've got... Someone's actually... The body, will it be in the coffin when we arrive there? I don't know. I hope so. I don't want to see the actual, er, thing. I've done it before and there's not much to see. It'll be just bones. That's all there is, after all this time. Yeah, I know that. (Sings) # Wherever you go I shall go # Wherever you live So shall I live # We will be together forever # And your love will be my love. # I don't know. That don't sound too right to me. No, that's fine. That's fine. All I want is some sort of... It's only an easy thing to think about. It's a thing, like, we're having this service for you to welcome you home, and we're taking you home to rest. Yeah, no, that's fine. That's fine. It's only a welcoming service, you know? No need to go through the real heavy stuff. No, that's alright. I thought the normal thing that was they were gonna send my mother out, 'cause she passed away at wherever, to her country, here. But they didn't do that. When I found that out, there's made me more... made me more determined to... until I found Mum, see? I would never stop. I'd just keep going. But then I had to get my freedom to me, you know, I had to... I wasn't up to it in the world yet, at that time. I was too young. But I know what I'm gonna do. When I left Beagle Bay, Father McGinley said, "We'll send you back to your father now." And that's when I met my father, Jack Byrne. He was just a man, there, and he says he's my father, you know? And I accepted that. He didn't hesitate to come, when he seen me there, he just come over and said, "Hello, son. How are you going?" You know? I was very, you know, I was very...happy with that, you know? And then I just, well, I just stayed there and started to work there. I was very interested in the stockman's game. And I went on to be horse breaker. I done everything possible to what any stockman can do. And I learnt it well. And I done it well too. You may, but nobody can believe it, but I... ..I've always had it in my mind that I've gotta get back home to my mother later on when I can. Like, what we said in that letter from the start, you mention her name. That's right up the top. That's the front of the thing. She commences her final journey to the land of her birth. Well, naturally, I am a bit nervous, really, even now, you know. But it'll be a different thing tomorrow, you know? I think about things in the night, you know, to keep myself strong. I know for the first time I'll be close to my mother tomorrow, you know? And that's another thing that I've gotta face up to. We'll see how I go tomorrow. I can't predict how I'm gonna be tomorrow, you know. And this is the thing I've been chasing for a long time, and... ..I've gotta put it together in a strong way, as best I can, I guess.