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“Hi, my names Dorothy Ifould and I’m working on my major project. I’ll be reading from Boarding School, my Chapter 2.
When my father put us on the plane to Darwin I was not prepared for what was going to happen to me for the next ten years in an environment that was totally foreign to me. I was in a daze trying to come to terms with my situation and why my father had come to this decision. He came out of Mother Superior’s office. He told me I was to stay with the nuns who would look after me, I was to work hard at my school work and be a good girl. My father was not a demonstrative man, he never showed his affection towards any of us, I knew he did love us in his own way so it was a surprise when he bent over and kissed me on my forehead before turning away and walking out those gates and down the road.
The nun took my hand, I took up my suitcase and my doll and was led away to a new life. I was seven that February, I would turn eight that August when my father deposited me into the hands of the Mother Superior. I was quiet, shy and very afraid of being left behind by my father. He had, in his kindly abrupt manner, explained to me that going away to boarding school was not a punishment. It was what was expected of him and of me. It was for the best. I didn’t cry when he bid me goodbye as I was led away by the nun to my dormitory. I felt my father had abandoned me to the nuns. I did cry later on, at lights out, very softly into my pillow, so no one could hear me. Little did I realize that night there were many of us crying … that night and many other nights that followed for our parents and our family.”
ABOUT DOROTHY IFOULD:
Dorothy lives in Broome Western Australia. She is a Saltwater woman and the direct descendant of the Bardi people of Cape Leveque in the Dampier Peninsula at the northern tip of WA. She was also an adopted River woman to the Gija people from the Leopold Ranges on the Fitzroy River in the Kimberley.
When she is not writing her Autobiography/Memoir she is painting china, working in charcoal drawings and water colour of the sea and the bush. She knits, crochets and sews. She is an avid motorsport follower, a Level 3 Motorcycling Australian Official in Steward, Clerk of Course and Race Secretary and officiate whenever she can at State Title events Australia wide. She is also a member of the Broome Speedway and Motorcross Clubs.
“Being at Varuna has been a privilege. I feel blessed I was chosen by my Creative Writing Co-ordinator Leni Shilton (from the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education) to be here. Varuna House welcomed and wrapped itself around me like a warm blanket inspiring me to write differently from my writings before coming here. I thank the Dark family for setting up such a unique place for writers to come and be inspired. If they aren’t inspired they are not meant to be here.
I believe the Varuna Magpie to be the “Spirit man, the Guardian” of Varuna House, who knows who brings with them good and bad vibes, though they may not know it, and acts accordingly. He accepts those who are humble being here, showing his acceptance by walking around comfortably in each visitor’s presence. He is a beautiful bird as is his “spirit” and watches over those who work and visit alike. Thank you for having me.” Dorothy Ifould
The BIITE residency at Varuna was funded by CAL’s (Copyright Agency) Cultural Fund.
Varuna has been funded by the Australia Council to produce a Varuna Writer-a-Day “app”. When we have recorded 365 writers the app will be made available via the iTunes store. In the meantime, if you subscribe to this free blog, you can receive a daily reading delivered to your email inbox which can also be directed to your mobile phone.
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