Week 152. Nerelle, 56 Years old, 2019. Charcoal drawing, 53cm x 78cm.
Nerelle was born in 1963 in Goomalling, Western Australia and identifies as a Ballardong-Noongar indigenous Australian woman. Nerelle is part of the 'stolen generation' and when she was nine months old she was forcibly removed from her parents and taken to live with a white foster family. She was told by welfare that her parents hated and abused her and that her mother didn't want her, but it was far from the truth. Her parents and family spent their lives looking for Nerelle and an older sister that had also been taken the same time as her.
After 54 years Nerelle decided to start searching for her family and placed a post on the Lost Goomalling Facebook page asking if anyone knew of her relatives. Incredibly she got a response immediately and within a short period of time was reunited firstly with her cousins and then with her six siblings that are still alive today. Unfortunately, both Nerelle's birth parents and three siblings had already passed away.
Despite growing up in a foster family, Nerelle had a wonderful upbringing and only has kind words about her foster parents. She is happily married with three children and two stepchildren. Her favourite pastimes include photography, bushwalking and fishing and she loves AFL football and cats.
When questioned if she had any regrets in life Nerelle replied, "You can't have regrets, or you can't move forward. It's a lesson learned, not a regret."
Nerelle's story is a very common one for Indigenous Australian's and I thank her for sharing her story with me 💜