“I was 11 when I was removed from my family and placed into the foster-care system. I was lying in bed in the night and saw the red and blue flashing lights. My dad said, ‘I’m so sorry bub, they’re coming to get you.’ There was a knock at the door and 12 police officers came into the house. They said, ‘Hug your dad one last time, you’re coming with us.’ It’s one of the only times I’ve seen him cry. The reason they gave for taking me was neglect, but it was really unconscious bias. I had a black dad and mum with mental health issues. We lived in social housing. Indigenous people are having their kids removed for being poor. Our kids are going from care to incarceration, and I refuse to be silent. We’re hurting, and we need to destroy this patriarchal ideology that is harming First Nations people and start healing. I’m studying law and social work because I want to be in a position of strength that allows me to lift my sisters and brothers when I’m rising. We’re exceptional. Our lives matter. Black lives matter.”
This article was originally featured in marie claire Australia.