everywhere I go every day of my life. I’m tired of being abused. I’m tired of being abused by train conductors bus drivers.. People. I got stripped of being a mother. That hurt. I’m still carrying that. When I get up to sing I am a different person. Different altogether. Well last week I sang Simply the Best & when I finished.. A man & a woman came up to me on stage & hugged me. They wouldn’t let go of me.. I’ve never gotten hugged from singing a song before. I feel important. Because I am making someone else smile. From primary school. I always was in the church singing. I always sang in my room. Because I wasn’t allowed to go out. I didn’t want to go out anyway. Because I didn’t want to walk past the house where that man raped me. So I stayed home. In my room. Listened to my music. All the sad songs that made me cry. Then I started doing some singing lessons. Then I went overseas & saw the man that hurt me. I wanted to kill him. But the doctor said that I had to tell my Mum. My Mum asked why didn’t I tell her. I said he was going to kill me Mum. Until I said that.. I was quiet. I was never outspoken. But after I told my mother. I changed.. Bad tempered. Angry.. Especially when I get bullied.. Or pushed. Family services hurt me.. Just for caring for my children. They blamed me for what he did! Stripped me of being a mother. All these years suffering.. I’ve got no choice. Whether I like it or not. I have to get up & go. I just keep going. But in the background. Still dark.. Still black. If I don’t.. I roll over & die. I say that if I lose my voice if I can’t sing anymore. I want to die. When you’re out on the streets.. Yeah. There are some good ones. Ones pretending to be your friends. But even when I was attacked. Not one of them came to my aid. So even on the streets. They don’t care about you. What kind of society is this? Every day! A young man dead. Every day. Somebody dies. If I didn’t have advocates.. I wouldn’t of had anything. Every day there is more & more women.. Elderly women & people outside. Because the Prime Minister wants to build airports & trams.. Instead of building high rise buildings that accomodate more people from the streets. It’s not easy out there. They sleep outside cold. They get crazy. They do ice because they can’t cope. Most of them commit suicide. Sleeping on the cement.. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life. Because housing would not put a disabled woman where I could be safe. I could of got killed out there. Hurt my hip. Cried all night. The battery died in my scooter. Had to push it around. The next night slept near the swimming pool because it was raining.. Up to November last year. I ran out of money. So I had to go sleep in the park. But now we are here.. It’s better than nothing. Because there are more worse people out there that have nothing. But with my singing.. There is always a light. Why I want to sing? Because it relieves my depression. Lets go of my anger. Lets go of my sadness. When I start singing it turns into joy because it makes me feel good & makes other people feel good. I get hugs. I get praises from people.. It makes me feel like I belong. Makes me feel important. Like I am not a failure. Complete strangers. People I don’t know. They hear me & they come up to me. It has always been that way.. With my music. When I am down & depressed I want to sing. Because I need to brighten myself up a bit & that is the only way to do it is to sing. It’s the only thing I’ve got. My music. If I make you feel happy.. That’s good. Then I have achieved what I am supposed to do when I got here.. What is the point of singing if I can’t make people happy? It gives me something to live for. Being on the streets. It is a nightmare. I tell people. Don’t sit here. Don’t rot away. Don’t sit here on your bottom thinking they are going to hand you a key. No. You have to get up off your bottom & get it. Because you are going to rot away here. I thought I would never get something. I thought I would rot on the streets. Don’t judge me. I am a kind hearted woman. It’s not easy my life because I am different. Don’t jugde people with disability. They are people too. They have a lot to give.

Mary is a passionate singer & lover of music. Between singing she volunteers her time to services such as FoodBank.