Talking to Auntie May

Auntie May is the Elder in Moree’s Top Camp reserve, an ex-mission. She has lived there all her life.


How was Top Camp before 1969?

When we had a manager, everything was done properly. We had a school, a church, a pool, an oval. We had men’s business and women’s business, we had community. And we had a good manager; a black manager, he looked after us. It was bad when he left.

How are things now?

Moree is worse now—much worse. This place was never like this when I was a kid. It was always clean—you would never get glass in your foot or anything like that. Society changed, funding is gone and nothing is coming in. I wasn’t even consulted at all for the Freedom Ride commemoration. They said invitation only at the door and Elders were locked out—the radicals would have gotten angry and gone in. There were seven or eight people who were left outside. Now, there is nothing here for kids to do, here nowhere for them to go. We had things, good things and then they were gone, they didn’t even tell us they were going to be gone.

What do kids do during the day?

They go to school in town. Parents send them everyday but they aren’t doing well. The schools push kids through and out the door. I can only speak for my grandchild—he is gone from school and he can’t read. They just gave up, they didn’t educate him, they can’t be bothered to teach them. I can only speak for my grandson but I think the school gave up and pushed him through.