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April 2017, vol 13 no 1

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Jonathan McKeown

The Mouths of Babes


Her voice sounds young, strong, a bit tom-boyish, but good-natured, confident. She has turned out alright. The interviewer asks what it was like for her before she got to Australia.

“My father left when I was real young. I think he was in the military or something. It was just my mother and my two younger brothers. My mother told me once about how she had seen lots of people being shot, lots of dead bodies and stuff. I think she is still traumatised by that when she thinks about it. But I don’t remember anything like that. I just remember travelling around in the backs of trucks, and being hungry. We didn’t have any food so my mother would breastfeed me even though I was like seven …”

Just then the Blue Tooth interrupts, my ring tone kicks in. It is a client about a job. When the call ends the program comes back on but I have missed quite a bit.

“… I don’t want to sound racist or anything, but when I got to Australia I had never seen so many white people. It was scary …”

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a young mother
tries her other card


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