A Remarkable Memoir: Read an Extract from Daughter of the River Country by Dianne O’Brien

A Remarkable Memoir: Read an Extract from Daughter of the River Country by Dianne O’Brien

In some ways, I was lucky to be pregnant while I was at Parramatta Girls Home. Unlike many others, I was never raped, and I think that’s because I was showing by now. Why choose a pregnant woman for your sex and power games when there were easier pickings on hand? If I lost the baby because of what the guards did to me, I imagined there might be trouble, too. I was also outspoken, so it was easier to pick on the weaker, more vulnerable girls.

One girl had been in for six months after stealing a pair of socks. Others, like me, were poor and had no one to look after them. Another girl arrived after her father stripped her naked, chained her to a tree and raped her repeatedly for three straight days and nights. Obviously, she was a complete mess, no doubt suffering terrible trauma. But she, and girls like her – often severely disturbed, mentally ill or with a physical disability – were either selected for ‘special’ attention, or were hurt by girls who were punished by the guards if they refused to obey orders to injure them…

Continue reading the extract here…

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Unforgettable and Inspiring: Read our Review of Daughter of the River Country by Dianne O’Brien

Review | Our Review

19 July 2021

Unforgettable and Inspiring: Read our Review of Daughter of the River Country by Dianne O’Brien

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    13 July 2021

    Your Preview Verdict: Daughter of the River Country by Dianne O'Brien

      Synopsis

      From a victim of the Stolen Generations comes a remarkable memoir of abuse, survival – and ultimately hope.  Born in country NSW in the 1940s, baby Dianne is immediately taken from her Aboriginal mother. Raised in the era of the White Australia policy, Dianne grows up believing her adoptive Irish mother, Val, is her birth mother. Val promises Dianne that one day they will take a trip and she will ‘tell her a secret’. But before they get the chance, Val tragically dies. Abandoned by her adoptive father, Dianne is raped at the age of 15, sentenced to Parramatta Girls Home and later forced to marry her rapist in order to keep her baby. She goes on to endure horrific domestic violence at the hands of different partners, alcohol addiction and cruel betrayal by those closest to her. But amazingly her fighting spirit is not extinguished. At the age of 36, while raising six kids on her own, Dianne learns she is Aboriginal and that her great-grandfather was William Cooper, a famous Aboriginal activist. Miraculously she finds a way to forgive her traumatic past and becomes a leader in her own right, vowing to help other stolen people just like her.
      Dianne O'Brien
      About the author

      Dianne O'Brien

      Dianne O'Brien (known as Auntie Di) is currently the Chairperson of Mingaletta Corporation, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community hub. In 2017, she was named 'NSW Grandparent of the Year'. She has held many senior positions in government organisations and has also worked in legal services and as a drug and alcohol counsellor. She lives on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia.

      Books by Dianne O'Brien

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      1. Anne. says:

        Looking forward to reading the book. I hope it is in the Library!