Paul Dutton is a Barkindji man from far western NSW. He is a Kali Skin (Dingo Totem), Mukwarra Moiety. His Songlines extend from Mt Margaret in Central QLD, Bulloo Downs through to, Tibooburra, Mount Brown, Yancannia, Mutawintji, to Lake Frome and Flinders Ranges in South Australia.
He is part of the Stolen Generation and was removed with two other siblings as a baby. He grew up in a non-Indigenous family in Liverpool Sydney.
Paul has worked in various commonwealth and state government departments including Immigration before it became Border Protection, NSW Housing, NSW Family and Community Services, as well as several NGO organisations. These included Link-Up (NSW) where he assisted and counselled other Stolen Generation individuals on returning to Country and community, as well as those communities on expectations of return and realities of separation, cultural loss and emotional divides and understanding of living in two worlds.
He has also engaged in guest speaking since he was young, talking about his Cultural journey and Stolen Generations linked to his family history connections through to historical government interventions, which affected his family kinship group from the time of colonisation in the mid-1860s, through to their removal from traditional lands in the early 1930s.
Separation from Culture & Community, although living in a strong supportive Anglo-Australian family, which protected and nurtured him as best as they could, meant he missed out on Country, Language, Culture, history, Connection, belonging and knowing his family and the strong connections this brings.
Paul grew up in Liverpool and spent time in Redfern developing his identity before returning home to Wilcannia when he was about 19 years of age. Since becoming connected to all he missed but still feels a sense of isolation and separation.
Paul is currently living on the far north coast of NSW in Bundjalung Country, connected to mobs from there and Gumbaingirr Country.
You can follow Paul Dutton on Twitter at @pauldutton1968.
IA is dedicated to providing fearless, independent journalism, free for all, with no barriers. But we need your help. To keep us speaking truth to power, please consider donating to IA today - even a dollar will make a huge difference - or subscribe and receive all the benefits of membership. Keep ‘em honest. Support IA.