Author: Karla McGrady, w/ Helen Duroux
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I was just 11 years old when they were taken from us. Those three beautiful children, so brutally ripped from each of our families.
I was just 11 years old when the cousin that I loved and adored spent what would be his last night in Tenterfield at our home, laughing and telling jokes and stories, just being everything you could ever want to be when you got older.
I was 11 years old when I walked up that road behind Evelyn’s family and her father, who carried her tiny little white coffin in his arms to her final resting place.
At 11 years of age I could not even begin to comprehend the pain Colleen’s family would feel not ever knowing what happened to their beautiful girl.
26 years on and I still feel the pain of that 11 year old child. Not a day passes when I don’t question how we live in a world that places no value on the lives of three Aboriginal children.
26 years, over a quarter of a century. 26 years of grief, of sorrow, off trauma, of guilt, of fear, of anger, of hurt, 26 years of mistrust.
26 long years of fighting for justice for our precious children! There is no stone that has been left unturned and yet here we are, once again asking a system that wants us to be silent and to just go away, for justice for Colleen, Clinton and Evelyn. It defies reason and logic that this government has not taken the numerous opportunities presented to it to clear the path for a retrial.
We are continually told that we must abide by the law, the same laws that failed to protect our babies, the same laws that have allowed a killer to walk free for 26 years. How can any decent human being that possesses even a basic level of compassion and intellect, sit in a position to effect change and make a conscious decision to do nothing?
How do you smile in the faces of those that have lost so much? How do you see the pained expressions on our faces, acknowledge the sadness in our hearts and still choose to do nothing?
For 26 years we have come to your door, meeting every new demand you place on us with nothing less than unrelenting determination.
For 26 years you have stood in our way, and continued to be complicit in the denial of any sense of justice for our children.
After 26 years it’s time that you do what is right by our children and our families, its time that you right the wrongs of the past, it’s time for Justice for Bowraville!
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