chapter  2
21 Pages

Mondalmi: One of the Saltwater People

WithCatherine Berndt

I first met Mondalmi in 1946, when the old Methodist Mission boat Aroetta stayed for a couple of days at Goulburn Island on its way to north-eastern Arnhem Land. But I did not get to know her personally until I returned to Goulburn Island late in 1947. She had been working in the mission house; fortunately for me, the missionary’s wife asked her to help me instead. In a motherly way she took me under her wing to teach me what she thought any educated person should know about the country and the people who lived there. The difference in age between us was almost enough for her to regard me as a daughter — but one in need of proper instruction.