Is That You Ruthie

by Ruth Hegarty


"Is that you . . .?" Matron's voice would ring out across the dormitory, night or day. In that pause sixty little girls would stop in their tracks, waiting to hear who was in trouble. All too often it was Ruthie - Ruth Hegarty, the author and central character of this vivid and authentic account of the lives of the Cherbourg Aboriginal Mission "dormitory girls", who were inmates at Queensland's most notorious Aboriginal institution.
Separated from her mother at age four, Ruth came to depend on her own inner resources, and on the love and support of her fellow dormitory girls. A natural leader, this high spirited little girl grew into an outspoken young woman with a well-developed sense of natural justice.
Shining through this lively and entertaining story is the resourcefulness of the children, and the strong and lasting bonds of friendship which developed to replace the bonds of family destroyed by a repressive government policy. Never a victim, Ruth triumphs over adversity and inspires with her optimism and spirit.

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