Jeannie Little is an Aboriginal woman who grew up in Mapoon, an Aboriginal mission on the west coast of Cape York in far north Queensland. Her mother belonged to the Waanyi people who live in the area around Doomadgee in the Northern Territory. Her mother had been taken from her family and moved to Mapoon, thus becoming one of the Stolen Generation. Jeannie has named her book “Waanyi Away”, in recognition of her mother’s story.
The family moved to Thursday Island at the tip of Cape York, where Jeannie went to school and worked towards her dream of becoming a nurse. Her dream came true after she moved to Brisbane to study nursing. With this background, Jeannie began her long and distinguished career, working to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She was awarded an AOM in recognition of her work.
The settlement at Mapoon was destroyed after the Mapoon Mission closed, and the remaining people were forcibly removed to New Mapoon at the tip of Cape York. After many years, the people were allowed to return to Mapoon. Jeannie has a house there, and she returns regularly to visit. She now lives in the Cairns area.
“Waanyi Away” can be bought from the Jabiru Publishing online Book Store.