Roma Loo-Kickett, interviewed for the City of Cockburn Aboriginal Oral History Project (2005)
The City of Cockburn Aboriginal Oral History Project records and summarises the oral histories of eleven indigenous people with a custodial or cultural connection to the Cockburn district. This recorded interview of Roma Loo-Kickett by Nikki Brannigan and Uta Eckhardt took place November 2005. Full audio and a summary below.
Summary of some of the subjects covered:
(Tape 1 — Side A)
- Born on mission
- Childhood moves and experiences of school
- Move to Moora and experience of returning 2004
- Family of 8 hide in bush to avoid children being taken
- Taken by train to Roelands mission
- Experience of mission
- Happy memories of trips to beach
- Memories of going to church
- School and education
- Missionaries and rules and guilt
- Leaving mission, losing friends, and loneliness
- Writing letter to parents
- Finding parents
- Getting a job and finding somewhere to live
- Back to mission, sisters looking after each other
- Work and racism outside
- Coolbaroo Club
- Looking for love; mission life and its ongoing impact on relationships and family
- Birth of children; Katanning Hospital had one ward “for natives only”
- Children working and playing football
(Tape 1 – Side B)
- Working Katanning, ironing, hospital, soft drink factory, hostel, meat works
- Children, shyness and loneliness, mistrust of white people
- Blaming white people, 1905 Aborigines act, policy of removal
- Children growing up
- Making friends with white people
- Finding herself and knowing something was missing
- Born in 1936 in Badjaling
- Her family’s living conditions then, description of where they got their water.
- Recalls being very sick as a little child, having the experience of “going to the other side”.
- About her children, five sons and one daughter. How happy she is to have all of them. Roma’s view of the special relationship between women and their daughters.
- Description of her time in the marriage, committed to looking after the children until they can look after themselves.
- Tight finances in those days, especially around Christmas, difficulty to buy presents for the children. One time kindness extended by a local minister.
- The separation from her husband, move to Coolbellup then Armadale.
- Counselling at Manguri and how it helped the marriage. A period of getting back together and splitting up again.
- Furthering her education at TAFE in Midland: normal school subjects and crafts. Also: TAFE Leederville, TAFE Rockingham: craft, painting.
- There were deaths in the family at that time also Roma’s daughter’s fiancé. The good relationship with his family.
(Tape 2 — Side A)
- Deaths in the family.
- Studies at Fremantle TAFE: Roma, her cousin Liz and Liz’ husband, Noel Morrison, attended the Aboriginal Tourism course. Learning Nyungar names for plants. Enjoyed working with primary school children in Leda, Fremantle and other schools.
- Move to Willagee and continued studies at Fremantle TAFE. Her English teacher Paul helped her research the 1905 Act. Relationship with white people.
- Remembering Nyungar maths teacher Patina Jacobs, who went to Canada, then came home and got married later.
- Travels with the Fremantle TAFE course participants to Albany, Bremer Bay, Esperance, Newman, Tom Price
- Meeting with elders in Tom Price.
- Stay in Coral bay in tents. Visiting TAFE in Carnarvon, welcome by a Nyungar band. Travel on to Geraldton
- 1985 attended two-year-counselling course at Wasley Centre, Mt Lawley. Description of what made her strong. Met up with a girl from the mission at this course.
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