State of Origin is about my search for my Indigenous foster brothers, both of whom ran away from home on the same night in 1980. While all the children in this memoir are either fostered or adopted, the word ‘foster’ can here be read as a euphemism for ‘Stolen’. This memoir explores our shared childhood where backyard games dealt with our sometimes frantic search for individual identities. The games described mainly focus on my fantasies, that being adopted, I was descended from the Russian Royal Family; the Romanovs, and how, bit by bit, I became disabused of this notion. The idea of royal blood is further explored with the introduction of the actual blood sister of my two foster brothers, a girl who could have been fostered into our family but wasn’t, and who went on a hunger strike to force the authorities to arrange a reunion with her siblings. I make connections and comparisons between this heroic moment in her short life and the supposedly tragic romance of Anastasia Romanov. State of Origin is a belated coming of age story which re-considers the myths of my childhood, while instigating a reconnection to the place of my birth: Queensland. A critical and reflective exegesis Women in the Water follows the creative component. This work explores the ethics of writing about the Indigenous people involved in this story.
University of Newcastle Research Higher Degree Thesis