Mandy Brown Welcome to Country

Welcome to Country

Mandy Brown


Session day: Friday 21st October

Abstract

Welcome to Country.

About the presenter/s

Mandy Brown is a former resident of Macclesfield, and elsewhere in the Adelaide Hills, living for a time on Todd Street. With permission from Mandy the following are extracts from publicly available web sites as listed below.

A former Reconciliation SA Board Member and Peramangk and Ngarrindjeri Elder, Mandy Brown has led a busy life. Always working, always creating, and always healing. Mandy is a survivor of the Stolen Generations like her grandmother, and her mother before her; and she now has three adult children of her own, [and] ten grandchildren.

While being a part of the Stolen Generations, and not knowing she was a Peramangk woman, Mandy has been able to live on Peramangk country most of her life. “I grew up on Peramangk country most of my life and always loved the Adelaide hills, and had a real sense of connection with Mount Barker, long before I knew I was Peramangk.

But it’s sad,” Mandy recalls, “finding all the information has been interesting; but so much language has been lost.”
Both her mother and grandmother had been removed from their families as children, and Mandy herself was placed with a British immigrant family: the separation from family, language and culture had happened thrice over.

After the government’s Bringing Them Home report came out, [Mandy] was able to get access to her adoption record — but whole sections had been blacked out. When asked why, the government officer told her it was ‘too sensitive.’ She recalled other Aboriginal children she knew, who had been told they were Greek.

Mandy, [is] an Elder of the Peramangk and Ngarrindjeri nations with connections to the Kokatha and Pitjantjatjara peoples. Mandy, whose grandfather is the famous tracker Jimmy James, says it is important to remember why Reconciliation Week exists.

“We still have some way to go before we have reconciliation in Australia,” Mandy said. “Non-Indigenous people must take the lead in reconciling with us over the past and for the future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are still reconciling with each other and the land and the sea, so while reconciliation can occur, there is still much work to be done.”