‘Women walking with Julieka’
Women walking with Julieka, I refer to Carol Roe, my cousin-sister- in our way cousin-sister is someone you clearly have a relationship with, someone you hold a special bond with, someone who is significant, someone that connects the heart and souls of many women. Sister-Carol, Della K and numerous others are the ‘Women walking with Julieka’
This statement is an acknowledgement to all the women in the life of Miss Julieka Ivanna Dhu’s – ‘Dhufish’, Rest in Peace-Nana. Julieka is known to me as ‘my nana’. I’m one of her many Nanas that unite and walk alongside her principal Nana in Sister-Carol.
I sincerely acknowledge my niece Della-K Roe, Julieka’s mother who stands beside her mother, Julieka’s sisters, grandmother, aunties and cousins on both sides of her families who’ve walked alongside her life and now take another journey - a fight for justice to keep her name ‘alive’.
I need to acknowledge the other women who came into contact with Julieka. Those women who were supposed to look after her, ‘it is simple. You failed her’. The inquest findings clearly record the unprofessional, degrading and inhumane treatment dealt out to Julieka, which has been extremely distressing and difficult for the women in her family and community. You women will have to live with your actions and appalling disregard for Julieka’s life. A life in your hands that you took away from the family that loved her the most. You all heard her voice, saw her pain, you chose not to walk alongside Julieka. Your choice was sadly to walk Julieka Dhu to her death.
Women walking with Julieka have come together to fight for her, they’ve stood as one in solidarity and strength amongst each other, with care and love to ignite the power of women to walk together for all women and to continue the Fight for Justice for Julieka. These choices are the choices of strong women who will walk today and always. These are the Women walking with Julieka - not the others.
*Note: I am family. I will refer to Ms Dhu as Julieka.
Carolyn Lewis is a Nanda/Widi woman, Carolyn is a relative of Ms Dhu and strongly believes enough is enough and that there needs to be change to ensure that our grandchildren will not endure extreme racist actions towards their children's children. Carolyn is a strong advocate for First Nations women's grassroots viewpoint in order to generate transformation of mind-sets in an ever change community services environment.