Home by Larissa Behrendt is about the loss of identity, connection and belonging experienced by the stolen generation and their descendants. We all want somewhere to belong, somewhere where we can put down roots, somewhere to feel connected, somewhere to call home. For the stolen generation, their identity, connection and belonging is bound to land, family and culture. It is also about memory – knowing where you belong, your history, your culture and your home.
This photo of Home by Larissa Behrendt is taken out at our new house. After four years of renting in Toowoomba in three different houses, we will finally have a place to put roots down, a place to call home and a place in which we are not the only ones coming home. The book is sitting on what looks like a very ordinary bookshelf. I have a number of bookshelves, but this one is special. It was made by Rob, my first husband, who died suddenly when Dan and Bec were young. So it is special to us. It is more than just a bookshelf – it is about memory. For the last four years it has remained out west. It is big and heavy. Too big and heavy to move from place to place while renting. But now finally we are reconciled. It has come home.
Like many people, we have moved around from place to place, from home to home and while we may not experience the same kind of connection with land as our Indigenous Australians, we still have the need to call somewhere home and to know where we belong.