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Daughter of The River Country

Dianne O'Brien



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01 July 2021

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Some life stories leave you wondering how the writer actually managed to survive their past. This memoir is of that sort, and by the end of it you can't help feeling both horror at O'Brien's story and pure admiration that she not only survived a series of events that would have felled most people, but came through with a dignity and courage that is hard-won and much deserved. Her beloved mother died when she was a child, her father not only abandoned her but put her in active moral danger. She fell pregnant, aged 15, to a rapist, and was forced to marry him to keep her much-wanted child. She has more children, has other abusive partners, goes through things no mother ever should - and in her 30s discovers that she is a Yorta Yorta woman. Gradually she reinvents herself from passive victim to active campaigner for disadvantaged people in her community. A harrowing tale, simply told with no self-pity, but ultimately one of resilience and strength.  Lindy

From a victim of the 'stolen generations' comes a remarkable memoir of abuse, survival - and ultimately hope.

Born in country NSW in the 1940s, baby Dianne is immediately taken from her Aboriginal mother. Raised in the era of the White Australia policy, Dianne grows up believing her adoptive Irish mother, Val, is her birth mother. Val promises Dianne that one day they will take a trip and she will 'tell her a secret'. But before they get the chance, Val tragically dies.

Abandoned by her adoptive father, Dianne is raped at the age of 15, sentenced to Parramatta Girls Home and later forced to marry her rapist in order to keep her baby. She goes on to endure horrific domestic violence at the hands of different partners, alcohol addiction and cruel betrayal by those closest to her. But amazingly her fighting spirit is not extinguished.

At the age of 36, while raising six kids on her own, Dianne learns she is Aboriginal and that her great-grandfather was William Cooper, a famous Aboriginal activist. Miraculously she finds a way to forgive her traumatic past and becomes a leader in her own right, vowing to help other stolen people just like her. 'A compelling piece of storytelling. The life story of Dianne O'Brien inspires. It is a story about the power of love and staying the course.' - Linda Burney MP
 daughter of the river country by Dianne Obrien

Imprint:   ECHO
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   364g
ISBN:   9781760686574
ISBN 10:   1760686573
Pages:   336
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Dianne O'Brien (known as Auntie Di) is currently the Chairperson of Mingaletta Corporation, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community hub. In 2017, she was named 'NSW Grandparent of the Year'. She has held many senior positions in government organisations and has also worked in legal services and as a drug and alcohol counsellor. She lives on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia.

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