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FIVE QUESTIONS is where we ask members of the community to talk about how they stay HEALTHY. Stolen Generation survivor Bill Ramage shared this:

1. What exercise did you do yesterday?

Yesterday I did some walking with my dog and also worked on my son’s house so he doesn’t have to pay for people to do jobs he can do himself which is a pretty good workout.

2. What did you eat today?

Today I ate for breakfast avocado on toast, for lunch 2 x wholemeal wraps with corned beef and salad.

3. What do you do to best look after your mental health?

As far as taking care of my mental health, I go for a nice long ride on my Harley. I have picked up my guitar again and started playing and singing to myself and I also go for a ride to a quiet place near water and just sit, watch and listen to waves or the trickling of the creek or river. My mental health is of great importance to me as I’m part of the Welfare Stolen Generation. For me, I was removed from my mother and father as a newborn. I grew up with a lot of misconceptions and mistruths. Dealing with this makes it hard to live a normal life. I lived a life where a step father didn’t want me. Because of my skin colour, I was truly the black sheep of the family.

I missed the love of my mother and my father. I knew where my mother lived but was never really welcome there. I met my biological father when I was 40 years old. I still cry these days at 62 years of age because I missed that real love from him. My mother had her chance but she had her own life which didn’t include me. My dad was completely the opposite. He knew me through my life but it seemed, who I grew up with, was determined to keep my biological father out of my life. So I grew up with a huge hole in my heart. And because of this, I swore I would not let my kids think I didn’t love them. Nor would I not tell them I loved them. My son at 32 years old, cuddles me and kisses me goodnight and he doesn’t care who he is in front of. My daughter is the same, only I don’t see her as often. My grandchildren run to me and show me their love. So yes, my past life has affected me in ways I wish were different. But it’s the past. As the saying goes, ‘you can’t change the past but you can change your future and don’t let your past rule your future’.

I have experienced so much grief, death and loss. I didn’t want to live in this life. I wanted to die and be rid of all of my bad thoughts. But with the help of good friends, and a brilliant Psychologist and CESPHN and its staff, I’m okay. Life is now what I make of it.

4. When did you last see a primary health professional?

I last saw a primary health professional just before Christmas for a check-up.

5. What are your health goals for the next month?

My goals for the next month are to keep losing weight and get to 100kgs, keep eating healthy and try to remain in a good mental space.