100 x 50 cm
This is my father’s country on Bentinck Island. He was called King Alfred. Makarrki is a
very special place and has a big river that runs through it. This is where dugong and turtles
come on a high tide making it easy for the men to catch them.
Netta was born on Bentinck Island at a place on the Northern side called Bilmee. Netta
describes her childhood - we lived in humpies then-no clothes nothing at all. I learnt to
hunt from an early age how to fish and collect shellfish, how to gather foods from the bush.
I was young when the Europeans came in 1946 to take us away from our home and
forced us to live on Mornington Island in the dormitory in the mission there. My father was
King Alfred he had 6 wives. When he died his brother Percy took over the family and took
care of us. When I grew up I went to the mainland and worked as a housemaid like a lot of
the young girls from the island. I enjoyed this time being young and having fun. I returned
to Mornington and became strongly involved in Land Rights and my people's wish to return
to our homeland. I was a grandmother by the time we returned to our homeland and now I
live there most of the year only returning to Mornington for the wet season.