Generations Stolen: Alfred Calma

Alfred Calma was born in Darwin in 1953. He was sent to Garden Point on Melville Island when he was four years old. His sisters were all sent to the mission as well. He says he was sexually abused on multiple occasions by older boys at the mission, and by male staff when he was around twelve years old. “I went through so much in that one year.” He left the mission when he was 14, sent to a cattle station to work as a stockman. “They probably removed the ones who had been abused.” Calma held onto his secrets for years, and eventually suffered from mental illness, which he partially attributes to the abuses he suffered at Garden Point. “I didn't tell anybody until 50 years later. I told my sister Maxine… Now I’m good. I'm taking medication and everything. I think I'm on it for life.”Calma has had difficulties reconnecting with his heritage. “The trauma and losing everything, the language, the culture, the lot… I’m in the middle. I’m neither white nor black.”
Alfred Calma

Alfred Calma was born in Darwin in 1953. He was sent to Garden Point on Melville Island when he was four years old. His sisters were all sent to the mission as well. He says he was sexually abused on multiple occasions by older boys at the mission, and by male staff when he was around twelve years old. “I went through so much in that one year.” He left the mission when he was 14, sent to a cattle station to work as a stockman. “They probably removed the ones who had been abused.”  

Calma held onto his secrets for years, and eventually suffered from mental illness, which he partially attributes to the abuses he suffered at Garden Point. “I didn't tell anybody until 50 years later. I told my sister Maxine… Now I’m good. I'm taking medication and everything. I think I'm on it for life.” 

Calma has had difficulties reconnecting with his heritage. “The trauma and losing everything, the language, the culture, the lot… I’m in the middle. I’m neither white nor black.”