Florence Onus, an Aboriginal woman, is the fourth generation of her family, she shares her experience to explain how the Aboriginals have suffered and she also tells us about their means of healing.
The suffering endured by herself and by her family
In Australia, in the 20th century, Florence Onus’ grandparents and parents were forcibly removed off their land and sent to an Aboriginal reserve when they were very young.
When her mother became an adult and had children, her older sisters were forcibly taken and sent to live with the Catholic nuns.
Florence and her siblings were taken from their mother too and were sent to an orphanage and then to a foster home. They have been living there until their adolescent years. This story has happened to a lot of Aboriginal people.
Pastor and Mrs. Branford with Mona Mona students in an Aboriginal school in the 1930sl, ESDA
Consequences and trauma
That story, for her as an adult and a mother, is a horrific story. Florence and her family have suffered because they lost their family. They have developed a trauma that have triggered alcoholism and suicide attempts.
As a child growing up in a foster home, Florence made herself a promise : when she became a mother, her children would never be removed from her. Florence said that her past is a part of her history and of her family history.
It has had an impact on them, but she believes that things will change and the only way to move forward is to heal.
Means of healing
Years later, as an adult, she has participated in therapies like Art therapies and has received the help of professionals such as psychologists and counselors.
All of that has contributed to her healing journey and she is convinced that therapies can truly help others too.
Aboriginal art therapy, Rawpixel