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The Last Daughter

‘I share this story out of love and forgiveness.’ Brenda Matthews

When she was two years old, Brenda and her siblings were taken from their parents.

For the next five years she was a much-loved daughter in a white family, a happy child in a country town on the outskirts of Sydney, unaware of the existence of her Aboriginal family or how hard her parents were fighting for her return—unaware of her Aboriginal identity.

Then, suddenly, she was reunited with her birth family, the last daughter to come home.

Decades later, Brenda searches for her foster family and her beloved white sister. Along the way she uncovers long-buried secrets and government bungling, and finds a deep connection to her Aboriginal culture.

The Last Daughter is an account of Brenda’s journey to discover the truth about her past—and to unite her two families. It’s a story of heartbreak, love and hope, one that shows a way forward for all Australians.

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Brenda Matthews
About the Author

Brenda Matthews is a proud Wiradjuri woman. She lives with her husband, Mark, in Bundjalung country, Queensland. Brenda is a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a daughter, an aunty, a storyteller, a speaker, Co-Founder and Indigenous Director of Learning Circle Australia and co-director of the feature film, The Last Daughter, a documentary of her...

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Text publication date:
4 April 2023
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Praise for Brenda Matthews
andThe Last Daughter

‘Powerful and inspirational—a must-read.’

The Last Daughter might be one of the most important books an Australian could read…This memoir is not for the faint of heart, but it is a book for anyone with a heart.’

‘As well as being a moving story of two families, The Last Daughter speaks of the potential for healing between two cultures.’

‘This incredible story is plainly but evocatively told: not just from Brenda’s perspective, but from that of both her families.’


‘Powerful [and] heartbreaking.’

‘A truly eye-opening read and one that I believe should be a must-read for all Australians. It is a terrible part of Australia’s history, but a part that we should all know about.’

‘Finding voice, being heard and validated, is part of the human condition. The Last Daughter expresses it so well…The book is a project of love and reconnection. Keeping everyone inside the warmth of that fire cannot have been easy. That fire and warmth are offered with immense grace to readers of Brenda’s story. It is up to us to step inside that embrace and bear witness.’

‘[Brenda Matthews’ story was not one to miss, revealing horrible injustices towards herself, her family, her mob and her Country…The genius of this book is that Aunty Brenda’s story is written in such a way that a wide range of ages will get something out of it…This is an absolute must read for those who are serious about walking together as brother and sister towards a better Australia.’

Other editions ofThe Last Daughter
  • The Last Daughter
    ISBN: 9781922791252
    4 April 2023
    Buy ebook