Alice’s Daughter: lost mission child

Taken from family and Country at age three, Rhonda Spratt grew up on a Native Mission, without a mother's love. Despite racism, violence, and her father's death in custody, Rhonda found strength and healing from her mission brothers and sisters, her art, music and poetry, and her unbreakable bond with the Dreaming.

Alice's Daughter BookcoverThey taught me well. I could speak their language. I wore their clothes. I read their Bible. I sang their hymns. But in my heart, I resented them for trying to make me white. It was like being dropped headfirst into a tin of white paint. The real me was still there. They couldn’t wash away sixty thousand years of Dreaming and history that tie me forever to this sacred land. The river, the sky, the claypans, the sandhills, the wildflowers and the sea — that is me.

“My story is not about blame. It’s about sharing history that belongs to all of Australia.”

Rhonda Collard-Spratt’s distinctive voice will strike a chord with Aboriginal readers, and her story will entrance those interested in recent Aboriginal history and its legacy.

Rhonda faces separation from family and Country, discrimination, police violence, and her father’s death in custody; one of the first deaths investigated by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

From growing up as a lost mission child of the Stolen Generations through to innocence lost in the big city to finally finding herself, Rhonda’s story is fearless and compelling, honest and intimate.

Raw, accessible, and culturally significant, Alice’s Daughter depicts a life scarred by violence, displacement and neglect.

Yet, out of an oppressive political era, Rhonda’s vibrant and powerful paintings and poetry emerge, revealing the magical heart of a survivor.

By Rhonda Collard-Spratt with Jacki Ferro
Aboriginal Studies Press

Rhonda Collard-Spratt on ABC Radio National: A voice for the mission children of the Stolen Generations

Rhonda with Jacki Ferro

Jacki Ferro with Rhonda Collard-Spratt

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