40 Stories Project: I'll watch over you - Mona Olsson (Directors Cut)

Spiritual Way

Added by LivingStone Media Foundation Ltd

Description Imagine, from age 5, being separated from your mother for 32 years. It’s hard to imagine what Mona has been through.

Mona Olsson is originally from a small Indigenous community called Mimili in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in the northwest corner of South Australia. Her sister is a custodian of Uluru in the heart of the Australian desert.

Mona was 5 years old, playing with her sisters and cousins by a desert stream when a truck pulled up. Police officers got out and started to round up the children. They were thrown into a truck and taken to a mission house. Although her mother managed to board the vehicle, she was not allowed inside the house. Mona said she didn’t see her mother again for 32 years.

“That was a terrible night…to be stuck in 4 walls…We’d been used to sleeping in a grass hut and if I woke up in the night I could look up and see the stars…like diamonds in the desert,” said Mona.

Mona had a lasting encounter with Jesus during her first year with the missionaries. One evening, she said God comforted her and explained the Scriptures she had been reciting without understanding. “I found Jesus when I was young. I think that was the most important decision I ever made in my life. I learnt how to forgive because He very clearly showed us that on the Cross, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’ I never stopped loving Him.”

Mona is from the Stolen Generation; having spent time at the Colebrook Home in Quorn.

Mona now lives in Adelaide and is a respected Elder. Mona is a retired nurse and midwife.

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