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Alice was left by her mother at a comfort station as a toddler. Her mother had separated from Alice’s father, and was caring for two young children. Baby Alice was stricken with polio, and there was little or no support for her mother. After being fostered into one family, Alice was placed with the Startup family. Ernie and Elsie were doting parents, but aged six Alice suffered another loss when her foster father went to work one day and did not return. Alice never saw or heard from him again.
In emotional pain herself, Elsie began drinking, and life for young Alice again spiraled downwards. Despite the tragedies of her early years, Alice went on to marry, have a son, connect with her biological family and enroll in Aboriginal education programs, each and all significant turning points in her life. ‘I live in two worlds. I would like now to live more in the Aboriginal world.’
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