A guiding light of strength, resilience, unity and healing.
Brenda's journey from being part of the stolen generation to becoming an Author, Speaker, Film Director and Indigenous Director of Learning Circle Australia is an inspiring testament to the power of healing and reconciliation.
From the moment Brenda was reunited with her birth family, she embarked on a mission to bridge the gap between her two families and her Aboriginal heritage. Her remarkable story, as eloquently portrayed in her debut book and Netflix documentary feature film, "The Last Daughter," encapsulates heartbreak, love, forgiveness, hope and bringing the Country together.
Brenda believes that healing is hidden in the past. She unlocks these secrets and brings Indigenous wisdom to today's modern world.
Brenda's path is not just Australian—it resonates internationally. Her empathetic and genuine voice unites people across colour, race, and origin, embodying her belief that healed individuals foster healing in others. Her life experience, warmth, unbridled passion, belief, and optimism have transformed her into a sought-after speaker and advisor from schools to government levels.
Brenda's circle of influence grows daily, inspiring positive change by welcoming people into her circle through her storytelling. Her journey stands as a testament that the teacher comes when the pupil is ready—and this is the inspiring story the world has been waiting for.
A Stolen Childhood
At the age of two, Brenda Matthews and her six siblings were taken from their Aboriginal parents and placed into the foster system. Subsequently adopted by a loving White family, Brenda spent six years knowing nothing of her heritage and the family desperately fighting for her return.
Torn Between Two Worlds
Without warning, Brenda’s life was thrown into turmoil again when Child Welfare made the decision to separate her from her White parents – the only parents she knew – and reunite her with her Aboriginal family, now strangers.
Brenda was the last child to be returned. As the years passed, she suppressed the memories of her White family so as not to upset her parents, but the trauma of her disrupted childhood did not lie quietly buried. Like so many children who were forcibly removed from their parents, she was in some respects, broken. But what is broken can be mended, if one can muster the courage.
Bridging Two Worlds
Forty years after Brenda said goodbye to her White family, she sought them out, to bring healing to herself, to bring both sets of parents and families together, and to bridge the gap between the two cultures that define our nation.