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My Mother’s Daughter

My Mother’s Daughter is a collection of stories reflecting and challenging the traditional roles of women, specifically a woman’s femininity, living in Australia. This series explores what it means to identify as a mother, daughter, sister and most of all, a woman.

We speak to women of various ages, cultures, and backgrounds to glimpse into who and what has shaped them as the strong and inspiring people they are today, as well as, the legacy they build for their children and community.

Listen to a young student growing to appreciate the differences of her Indonesian heritage and Australian upbringing; A social worker examining how her experiences of familial dysfunction has changed her identity as a mother; A woman who feels disconnected from her Aboriginal identity and the consequences of trauma, gender, and communication on the family unit; And a Sri Lankan migrant exploring the cultural nuances of growing up in between multiple cultures, and the expectations that arise.

These stories, though different, are connected by relationships, whether loving or estranged, and the sense of belonging that comes from family and the woman’s experience.


These stories were collected by Centre for Stories intern, Jade Alise Smith.

Thank you to our storytellers, Anne, Nahdarin, Anju and Melissa.

"I can see, that even though my Nan was separated from her family, that we do have a lot of things that are culturally in line with being Aboriginal, and I don’t know how she just naturally grew up with those ideas, when she taken away so young, but she did. So I guess, I feel like a fraud either way, I don’t know which box to tick."
"Motherhood wasn’t something I enjoyed or embraced. I guess, you know, many Sri Lankan women do, so I thought it was something wrong with me. So that was a catalyst for me...at 25 I didn’t know it was okay that I’m different...I could not relate, I did not belong, I did not make any connection to the Tamil of me, and as I said the women in particular.
"I think identity is developed from what’s passed down to you, and how you interpret it, and how you implement it into your life, so I feel like there was a missing piece in my life, because I never got those experiences."
"Because my family is so dynamic and so different, and also growing up in a different country and then coming somewhere else as well, those two differing kind of like ideas of womanhood, they shaped the way that I view womanhood to be gentle but not submissive."
"You made bad decisions that reverberated across generations of our families, did and said things you can’t take back and probably don’t even remember, but it is time to finally move on, I think. I want to thank you for making my family stronger, for making us cherish what we do have, and for allowing me to learn that people will hurt you in life, but it is possible to rise above it."
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