Generations Stolen: Eileen Cummings

Eileen Cummings was born in central Arnhem Land in 1943. She was raised on a cattle station where her mother and stepfather worked. “I was as happy as anything,” she recalls. “We weren't in poverty or anything, and I had the best home there. I had the run of the cattle station.”“When they came to take me, I thought they were just taking me for a ride in the truck, so I jumped in the truck thinking I was really good, I thought I’d go for this wonderful ride. And then as it started to get dark, I realized that I was going further and further away from my mother. And I started to cry, and I was crying all the way.”She eventually arrived at the Methodist mission on Croker Island, in the Tiwi Islands. “I was 19 when I saw mom again, so I was still young enough… and I still remembered her. When I saw her I looked at her and I knew straight away that was my mother... I must have had a little picture in my head… I said “mom, you know who I am? and she said ‘yeah, you’re my daughter Eileen, they stole you from me,’ and the tears were just running down her eyes.”
Eileen Cummings

Eileen Cummings was born in central Arnhem Land in 1943. She was raised on a cattle station where her mother and stepfather worked. “I was as happy as anything,” she recalls. “We weren't in poverty or anything, and I had the best home there. I had the run of the cattle station.” 

“When they came to take me, I thought they were just taking me for a ride in the truck, so I jumped in the truck thinking I was really good, I thought I’d go for this wonderful ride. And then as it started to get dark, I realized that I was going further and further away from my mother. And I started to cry, and I was crying all the way.” 

She eventually arrived at the Methodist mission on Croker Island, in the Tiwi Islands. “I was 19 when I saw mom again, so I was still young enough… and I still remembered her. When I saw her I looked at her and I knew straight away that was my mother... I must have had a little picture in my head… I said “mom, you know who I am? and she said ‘yeah, you’re my daughter Eileen, they stole you from me,’ and the tears were just running down her eyes.”