My father's secret: Julie Janson and Shane Smithers

In 1950’s Boronia Park, Julie Janson’s father would have lost his job if his Aboriginal identity had been confirmed. Because of this secret, as a child she never endured being “put down” for being Aboriginal: “That was a kind of a gift, but it’s so sad.” Now she is searching for her missing ancestor from the 1820s but she is not sure if she will ever find the last link. For her second cousin, Shane Smithers, growing up in Riverston in the 1970s it was more acceptable to be Aboriginal.

Keywords: Identity; childhood; racism; values; heritage; working; early settlement