Mother of John Pat left homeless after cyclone
BY TRACKER, FEBRUARY 17, 2014
By Jan Mayman
The Pat family home was devastated by a cyclone earlier this year.
NATIONAL: History was made in West Australia last year when the state’s Parliament stood for a minute’s silence to honor Aboriginal matriarch Mavis Pat, and apologize for the death of her son John in police custody 30 years ago. He was 16 years old.
Some members of Parliament were teary eyed, even ministers in the ruling Liberal –National Party coalition.
It was an extraordinary, emotional event. But the official sympathy did not last long.
Today, three months later, Mavis Pat is homeless, along with most of her surviving family. A cyclone destroyed their shoddy old house last December.
So the Pat family has been forced to pack in with friends and relatives in already overcrowded homes in the Pilbara town of Roebourne, with no idea when they will be rehoused.
Mavis, a frail diabetic in her sixties, is now in hospital recovering from her ordeal last December 31, when a wild cyclone roared through the Pilbara, with wind gusts of up to 220 km an hour.