‘Most of the stories in this book are stories of compassion and kindness but none greater than this one. The narrator of this chapter ‘adopted’ Jack, a young indigenous youth, or as Jack would tell it, he quite determinedly ‘adopted’ her. Regardless of who adopted whom, Dr Janet Hammill not only willingly took Jack in and stayed by his side throughout challenging times with the Queensland juvenile justice system, but also chose to advocate for him and the disability from which he suffers.

Dr Hammill is an academic with a doctoral degree in indigenous family violence and is a descendant of the Gamilaaray people of the NSW Pilliga Forest. She hoped that by providing Jack with a stable home and ‘mother’ figure that it would give him a chance to turn his life around. Unfortunately, both Dr Hammill and Jack were to find that very few interventions, even those of a loving, generous and knowledgeable ‘mother’, can stop a young person with FASD from spiralling down the path of petty crime into the waiting arms of the justice system.’

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