Yoonthalla Close interviewed by Anne Monsour in the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants oral history project [sound recording] is an oral history interview held by the National Library of Australia. In the interview, Yoonthalla Close discusses her identity as a Wiradjuri woman; her early memories and family background; her father and the Stolen Generation; her parents' marriage; her siblings; deafness in her family; play, games and toys; food and cooking; schooling; being told stories by her father; her father's employments; WW2; her relationship with her mother; punishments and abuse; illness; being sent to Far West Children's Home, Manly, N.S.W.; her siblings being removed and separated from each other; journeying to Sydney Children's Court; The Nest (Arncliffe Girls Home); routine and chores; food and hunger; punishments and abuse; reporting abuse; the treatment of Aboriginal children and attitudes towards Aboriginal culture; having a thirst to learn; attending Bexley High School; teaching herself to write; returning home for six weeks; being sent to Bidura Children's Home, Glebe; reporting abuses to staff at Bidura; staff at Bidura; being sent to Parramatta Girls' Training School; being physically examined upon entering the Home; hard work; illness and hospitalisation; sewing and chores; starting nursing training; being removed from Parramatta by her father; nursing conditions; her first pay; friends and social life; relationships, marriage and children.
Open for research, personal copies and public use.
Close discusses the ongoing psychological impact of her experiences in her family and in care; the adoption of a child; her relationship with her daughters and the impact of her life experiences on them; her feelings about her mother; her name; survival and resilience; accidents and injury in her family; her desire to help others; a Forgotten Australians function in Sydney (2009); playing lawn bowls; journalism; career options for women; her feelings about misogyny in the workplace; spending time on Palm Island, Qld. With footballers; moving to Mackay; founding Friends of the Blind, Mackay; undertaking University study and her Ph.D.; awards and scholarships; Chairing the Disability Council of Queensland; organising Disability Action Week, CQU Mackay; advising the Minister for Disability Services, Qld.; tutoring; finding employment for Indigenous people with a disability; memories of telling her life story for first time; organising Disability Action Week in Rockhampton Gardens (2005); working for CARE (2008-2009); working for the Centre for Australian Indigenous Knowledges; moving to Toowoomba; the Queensland floods; the acknowledgement of Forgotten Australians; her feelings about racism, identity and belonging; not wanting to see her personal files; the impact of institutionalisation on children; the Salvation Army; the role of Aboriginal customary law; learning, acceptance and healing; her family's and her own religious and spiritual beliefs.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 28 November 2012, Last modified: 5 December 2014