Monthly Archives: June 2014

Boat people and loss of humanity

I wasn’t really ready to write anything again, and I was intending the next post to stick to the journey of Cancer. but I had to stop and do this.

I was reading posts and articles about children going missing and running away because immigration is picking up children and their families and returning them


so the peers of these children have gone missing I understand this. I fear for them. Excuse me if I say we are going all white Australia policy.  My people feared the government cars coming taking the kids away.  kids running into the bush to hide. Parents covering babes in ashes so they looked blacker so the government man won’t take them.

This is happening still with our mob in some ways but bloody hell we are terrorising children with this fear. These kids are not criminals they are children of refugees. People who for some unknown reason think that Australia is a fair nation. They risk everything to come here. Yes I have heard the stories of the economic refugee who choses to come here and can afford it. But I would prefer to let one fake in rather than risk a hundred lives.

What next for these Children? who will take care of them? how do they access any help out there on the streets if they run. The other problem is if we have people running and hiding in fear of the government we will end up with a situation like America where we have a total economy of illegals that in some ways runs parallel to the main stream economy. For a lot of children who are illegals they have huge problems then as adults getting ID getting in universities oh hell just getting ahead of things.

I don’t want that here. I don’t want this government to pursue its policy of dealing with boat people. They say they have a mandate, well yes I guess they do, they did get voted in. The ad campaigns by the mining industry fooled a lot of people into thinking that Gina, Clive and Twiggy would suffer.

One group of people fearing the government man taking the kids away and splitting up families is enough. Lets not let it happen to other people.

Lets not make Australia White

Brain Tumours

The increase of Brain Tumours is something that we need to worry about. Especially in the Aboriginal Community. We have the lowest diagnosis rates of cancer yet we have the highest death rates. We don’t talk about cancer. The big C is a no-no. we just keep it under wraps. Like it’s a shame thing. But it’s not it is time we got out there and yelled out no more. We need to do something. We have the quit smoking programs and breast screen but what about our brains? We look at people as they get older and suffer dementia and just accept it. We don’t think twice about acquired brain injury. We don’t recognise the name but we just accept that so and so has gone funny from too much drugs or drinking.

Brain Tumours can come on anyone but they are becoming more common in the over 40 age group. I think this is a lot to do with punch drunk, saddle drunk and tackle drunk. I am not forgetting that domestic violence plays its part. When I was diagnosed they said they didn’t know if it was from Domestic violence or all the years I had played soccer. But now we know it’s out there we really need to focus on it. Now is the time to make the difference. Make your kids were helmets. Protect their brains. I don’t advocate not playing rough sports but we have to be careful and mindful about it. Every time you get a big knock to the head go to the Doctor get it checked out. Any changes in your vision or if you have a lot of head aches get it checked out by the Doctor.

For our older kids or young adults let’s encourage drink in moderation not desperation. Preferably lets not drink at all but if you do, do it responsibly and take care of each other when you are out. Don’t let a friend stagger or fall. Don’ let a friend get into a fight. Watch out take care. We are one mob we have to watch out for each other. I guess I will have to mention drugs. They just totally fuck up your brain. Don’t use them and don’t believe the crap that marijuana is natural and good for you. Just like tobacco too much can damage the brain cells. In the countries where it is an indigenous plant it was a sacred plant used to bring on visions and for healing purposes. Not just sitting at home with a coke bottle bong and messing yourself. Harder drugs well if you are stupid enough to use them you get caught in all kinds of problems addiction, leads to problems and it’s the taxpayer and your family that have to clean up the mess . I have no sympathy for those who use hard drugs.

These all can lead to Brain Tumours and there is not enough information or research on them some tumours are quick and deadly and some are slower. But all have one hell of an impact on your life. When my tumour was found I was told that I could go in a second or in 20 years. 20 years being the average for someone with my kind of tumour if nothing goes wrong.

All sorts of things have gone wrong, chemo not working meds not working and all the associated problems this has shortened my life but its no the end. I am not going to give in. they say Terminal. I say ain’t no bus stopping here and I will keep on saying that. that is my mantra. I can’t afford to give in

Trying to work again

After a year off its time to get back to work. I have kids to support a lot of medical bills and the usual stuff all building up. Started working three half days a week that seemed to be going fine. I have some Issues with a manager who seems to think that negativity and sarcasm are the same thing. I believe maybe she has a tainted view of my but hell that’s her problem. Every time I mention and Aboriginal issue this woman jumps in with “that’s not your concern that’s Close the Gap” So we have a few problems there.

I was hauled into her office last week and was told that a complaint had been made about me. Me? little ol me? So she proceeds to pull out three sheets of paper with complaints made by some humans who were in my group at a planning day.

The reason for the use of the word human? Well these three humans objected to me calling them young ladies, and I did on occasion call them girls. This was offensive. I can understand that to a degree but really a formal complaint?

These humans also complained about my talking about boat people it was a dig at the Abbot regime and the management. The precious little ones complaint that I upset the two workers from refugee health in our group. These two ladies agreed with me and had no problem, strangely as my complaint is so formal and serious and is being investigated the lovely ladies in Refuge health haven’t been asked how they felt.

The precious humans complained about a comment I made when I could not remember the new an acronyms for a position that had changed while I was away. Again people in those positions were laughing and we all said some silly things. But apparently I upset them.

These frivolous complaints and some other issues with a manager are making my return to work difficult. I am being micro managed by this manager which is upsetting my work but also annoying the hell out of the guy who I am answerable at this point in time. When I returned they didn’t quite know where to put me. I am funded and have a contract under close the gap. But they have finally been using some funding they kept and put in for more there was no room for me.

But I am enjoying the scope of the project I am working on and really don’t want to leave this area to go back to the Close the Gap unit as the Black politicking was enough to drive me crazy before and I think it will be the same only worse. The organisation seems to be deskilling its staff. Nothing seems to be getting done all newness is jumped on all in fear as to what is going to happen with the Federal budget.

Another political statement

I know this site isn’t supposed to be about political things. It is meant to be about me and my family and our trials with Cancer.

“To be born Black, is to be born political” Kevin Gilbert. So I guess this is part and parcel of it all. I read a blog, (everybody does a blog, nowadays) and they young pretty girl, was rightly complaining that she often gets asked where she is from? The other one is being asked what nationality she is. She is African American and Aboriginal. She said that people say that of course her beauty comes from her African American heritage.

This isn’t new, when I was younger I used to get asked the same thing, and being told you are too pretty to be Aboriginal, what else are you? In those days my standard answer was Bitch. I had it all the time, I had ginger hair, so of course it had to be dyed. Or else it came from my Irish heritage.  Let me be straight here. I have Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and South Sea Islander on my mothers side. My Da was just Irish. So in the families everyone claimed the long curly ginger hair.

But as a young woman trying to find my identity and found it very hard to deal with this. Of course vanity is part and parcel of human nature, but how do you cope when you are told that part of you is ugly? What do you do? do you say I’m Aboriginal (which is what I proudly Identify as, just as my mother did and my father proudly acclaimed his Aboriginal wife and children). Do I then go through the whole genealogy of my being to explain and justify my looks? Do I feel ungainly unwanted and unloved if I claim my Aboriginality. Am I being discourteous, to the rest of my heritage just claiming one? Am I better looking if I claim to be South Sea Islander? Am I just the “Rose of Tralee” for being Irish.

It took me years to just accept that some people will find a reason to find me ugly just as they will find a reason to consider any one Aboriginal ugly. People will find Africans ugly, it is all down to misunderstanding of culture or just pure bigotry.

No different to the whole, you’re only half white. Hell which half of me are you going to claim? its all brown even where the sun don’t shine. I will never satisfy everyone.

When I was working as a journalist I had some fun times then, because many people were shocked or at the very least startled that an Aboriginal woman would show up with a microphone. I had comments like “you speak so well for a Black/Aboriginal”  “Who taught you to speak so well?” “Did they train you to speak so well and so English?”

In those days we had an English African, Trish Goddard, she was on Play School and many I time I was called Trish, (you know we all look alike) and told things like “My kids love you”.

I must share with you one of my finer moments. There were demonstrations on at Parliament house and I insisted on being there to help cover the issues. I was inside in the media room filing my story. Then went back outside. I interviewed some of the mob that were there and then tried to get back into Parliament house to file my story and the guards wouldn’t let me back inside. I must have looked just like them other black fella’s! I had to show my Media pass, but no good they wouldn’t let me in. A journalist from a commercial station and the camera crew vouched for me. Yes I am Aboriginal but I am also media.

Well we spent 15 minutes discussing this and trying to get me in. They ended up calling the head of security and he with the Officer in charge of the police presence came up and quite happily smiled at me. Apologised and asked for my autograph. I think to this day they thought I was Trisha Goddard, or someone else. But at least I got my story done.  My how things have changed in the world of the media we have a few more Aboriginal journo’s out there but we need more and we do need some of the hidden ones to freely admit they are one of us. Not just hide it and say its not an issue.  Sure its not an issue if you can do the job and it shouldn’t be. But it would be good for our younger generations to see you and go wow I can be on channel 7 or what ever.

But back to the issue, bigotry and the world hasn’t changed too much if we still think you can’t be pretty enough or smart enough unless you have some other race running through your veins.

Stolen Generation, maybe we did something wrong

So I am going to talk about stuff that really should be left to those angry black women and the intellectuals and radicals. the talk of the new Stolen Generation.

We worry that our kids are being taken away from us for no reason at all. Yes I can relate to that. I had the department come into my home with talk of talking away my daughters while I was sick as I couldn’t take care of them. I had this bright young thing hold my hand and tell me that she understood.  I don’t know how she could understand when I don’t. I was never taken away. Members of my family have been, but I wouldn’t know what it is like to be taken away or to have a child removed.

In former years the governments did it for our own protection, apparently. Lets not forget to help breed the white out of us, cultural genocide.  So where have we gone to since the report into the Stolen Generations? What has happened? The government has put money into counselling that this is great, that is really important.

But what about the actions of the parents? what have we done to change them and make homes a better and safer place for our children? We have children who have to be removed from their homes as it’s not a safe place. We have children who their parents are their greatest threat. So many jump up and down screaming at the government for taking away our children. But as far as I am concerned some of those kids are far better off.

You want our children to not be taken away, make the parents accountable, teach them how to be parents. Deal with the addictions, violence and the dysfunctionality. You want the children who have to be removed to be placed in Aboriginal families. That would be ideal that would be great. kinship caring would be the way to go.  Bu sometimes that doesn’t happen because, because family is too far away, family don’t want a bar of each other, or they are just to full and busy to take on a child or children. Next Step would be to have other families, we don’t have enough Aboriginal families signed up to be foster carers.

Are we just to busy? we talk about it takes a community to raise a child we talk about the white people taking away our kids. But where are we? not in the line to care for these kids. I have taken in kids who have been kicked out of home. I have picked up kids from hospitals whose mums can’t be bothered to get them. I have had kids on my doorstep brought home by my children because home is bad and they need a break. They need a feed or they just need to feel wanted and loved.

We have to have white families taking in our kids, we have to make sure the children are encouraged to be a part of their real family and the Community. So many white families have raised or cared for Aboriginal children with family or community involvement. I have known of a town that any murri kids in care were, with any other siblings they might have in that family welcomed into the play group and the culture programs.

I have a friend who has a son and daughter in law who have been taking care of a little murri baby since she was a baby, she is now 2. Mum is only 17 and on drugs. The department is readying the child to be returned to mum when mum turns 18. Baby’s family want her to stay with this family and support them talked to the department but it has been to no avail. We are dooming one beautiful little girl because some one is too scared of cultural backlash.

Can I say that as a child who has an Aboriginal mum and an Irish Da, they fostered kids and like a lot of families helped to raise family members the colour of your skin isn’t as important as the love you receive.

Can’t hold me back

I AM IN OPERABLE, UNSTOPABLE. Don’t use terminal or palliative around me because I will give you a bit of a mouth full.

So this time last year they never thought I would make it, well I got past all of that. Had a check up through the week and had a look at the levels of the steroids in my system. The steroids they are tying to wean me off because they didn’t seem to help, infact between them and the chemo I was well and truly stuffed.  But now am a lot better. Chemo and steroids totally messed with my system and then throw in warfarin well it was a struggle. I had brittle bones, four broken ribs, fractured both hips fracture in the lower vertebrae. Lets not forget the issues of hair and ratty teeth, they loosen and get brittle finger nails and toe nails well they were a disaster.

But on to the good news so after weaning me slowly off the  steroids it seems like my pituitary glands might actually be woken up and kicking back in. That is good news, as they have changed the steroids and lowered the dosage I have slowly lost a lost of the weight I had put on. But I have to work a bit on that now, because I was forbidden to do a lot of sport because of the tumour and the drugs. So I can now do some gentle sports. I am trying to get my walking back up to a decent amount to help lose weight. I have to cut down on the intake of food too.

But again let’s get back to the good stuff so if my next two tests show positive that is it  totally off the drugs.  It is wonderful to be off them, yet, and here is the hard bit, I will be on nothing but pain killers for the constant head ache and an anti-depressant to help with the swelling in the brain.  So I will be on no Cancer medications again.

They say the words terminal. They sit in front of me and talk of long-term palliative care. They give that smile and gentle touch my knee.  I hate to ruin the moment but I had to, I told them no bus in ending here. and I am inoperable and unstoppable. I remind them they told me about five years ago that I could go like that (snap of the fingers) or last for twenty years.  Well I am betting on the twenty years. I know they treatments they have put me through have shortened my time. Hell I was revived so many times I have a visitors right and a lot of fly buy points to the other side.

Life is life, its good its bad its just it.  How totally un-profound! but  I have to make the most of it. I am not little miss sunshine, I am more little miss moonlight, dark, gloomy but full of beauty and life if you really see it.  I am not going to give in. I am not going to be one of these annoying women who are perky and smile through it all (they are on major drugs if they are). Life happens shit happens and we all have to die one day, so what the hell does it matter. Has this changed me? yes is has I am more selfish now. I have helped and given and believed in “there but for the grace of God go I” My  mother and father always taught us to share and give. We were poor but we always had room for some one who  needed it, food, and clothing. Do unto others…

When you are really sick and lost you really find out who your real friends are. it’s not about what they can give or do. Prayers work so hard and so wonderful.

So back to the positive no major drugs soon, I will be doing it as it is meant to be by those who write the script of our lives. I intend to watch my children grow. I want to be here to hold my first grandchild. I want to watch my daughter perform on stage. I want to dance a waltz with my son. I want to share a coffee and gossip with big girl, I want to see her happy. I want to see my littlest reach the heights that she wants, she is still deciding where she wants to be in life, but she will find it.

Real cranky mama

Just another weekend day in the house, kids sleeping in me doing what has to be done, doing the washing…Hang on this is no different to any other day in the Lavelle house hold. I am always moving my bum and doing for the kids and they need to get going cause of school, work, and appointments. But me? Of course I have no life, who cares if I have appointments I will just find a way to wamba myself to them. Can’t wash up my hand is sore, I have a cut, and I am tired. Oh my goodness. How unfeeling am I that I would expect the little gobshites to clean up after themselves.

Every now and then I chuck a huge tantrum, I think today is the day. Get them moving off their collective bums. My yard is a disgrace, but of course they cannot do anything. I can’t do this or that I work. Oh do you want me to mow/vacuum at 3 in the morning. There is always an excuse.

I read a blog where a lady got sick of her kids that she put padlocks on their bedrooms and wouldn’t remove them until they did their share of the house work. She then kept them on as a reminder and also locked them until they had cleaned the bedrooms. She also went on to say that it was a great deterrent to the stomping off to the bedroom as she locked them in!

So how do you get the kids to do the jobs and not let them build up? I am not consistent enough to hound them every day. They are not well-trained enough to do it without being told. I also have the problem of not being able to deal with it all the time because of my health. Let me tell you there is nothing worse than being sick for days on end or being in hospital and then coming home to a messy house. A couple of loads of washing waiting for your attention and dare I say due to the stiffness of them, standing at attention.

My kids were never raised to sit back and let mum do the jobs. They have always had their jobs to do around the house. Yet somewhere in the teen years they have developed an allergy to helping out, doing house work, let alone doing the jobs outside, like mowing weeding etc.