‘Because of her. We Can!’ – Rose Clarke

Aboriginal interpreter Michelle Howard, says her grandmother Rose worked hard all her life to put her children through school and give them a good work ethic.

Rose Suzanna Clarke was born in 1900 at Oobagooma Station in Western Australia, and was of the stolen generation.

“She was taken off her mother and sent to Beagle Bay Mission in Western Australia,” Michelle said.

Rose and her husband had six children - three were born in Western Australia, Theresa, William and Gilbert, with Joseph, Edna and Elizabeth born in Darwin from 1928.

In the early years, life in Darwin was tough. Rose and her husband worked hard, and were one of the first Aboriginal families to buy their own home on Goyder Road in Parap, where they lived until 1960.

Each day, Rose would cook a big lunch and her three sons, even though they were married, would all come home for the meal.

“She was a very good cook and also knew how to sew and her house was always spotless,” Michelle said.

Rose went on to have 33 grandchildren and about 50 great grandchildren.

“My nana was killed in 1974 due to Cyclone Tracy, along with her brother, who lived with her for all his life.

That was a very sad day for our family and we all miss her dearly,” Michelle said.

rose clarke family
L-R: Gilbert, Rose, Edna, Elizabeth, Joseph & William. Credit to the Clarke family for sharing this image.