A YEAR spent as a ‘house mother’ in a remote Catholic-run Aboriginal boarding house has given Erin Gordon a new outlook on life.
The 19 year-old from Ballarat in Victoria spent four semesters looking after eight Aboriginal children between the ages of six and 10, cooking, cleaning and performing all the tasks associated with being a ‘mother’.
Erin volunteered to work at the Pallottine-run Wandalgu Hostel, 150 km east of Geraldton in Western Australia.
She said she wanted to do something a bit different on her break between finishing school and starting university.
Her first choice had been to work in Kenya.
But there was a lot of fighting going on in Africa, so she was advised to get in touch with Fr Ray Hevern who was running Wandalgu Hostel at the time.
She was accepted for the position and moved to the hostel.
Wandalgu hostel caters for 80 Aboriginal students.
There are eight houses, four for girls and four for boys, with 10 students to each house plus a supervisor.
Primary students attended school on site and older children travelled to a high school an hour away.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.