It’s a bit disarming to hear Sonny Morey speak about being one of the Stolen Generation. His manner is so matter of fact that it would be easy to miss the implications of what it would have been like to be torn from family and country at a young age.
It wasn’t until many years later, through the freedom of information act, that Sonny found out that he had sisters and nephews with whom he is now in contact. Sadly his mother and father had passed away before he was able to reconnect with his family.
After spending time at St Francis House in Adelaide, Sonny was taken into foster care in Gawler. While in High School, there was a belief at the time that Australian Aboriginal people wouldn’t survive. They didn’t make much of an effort for an indigenous kid from the territory.
This didn’t deter Sonny however. After school he found work as an apprentice fitter and machinist with the Postmaster-General’s Department (The P.M.G., now Telstra).
Meanwhile, Sonny began his football career playing for Gawler Central. This led to him playing in the inaugural Central Districts League team in 1964. He is proud of the fact that he had the first kick for the club in the competition. He went on to become the first player at Central Districts to play 200 games garnering admiration, respect and many awards along the way.
One of Sonny’s early jumpers on display at Centrals
In the 1980s Sonny was approached by the South Australian Police (S.A.P.O.L.) to work in Community Policing.
Stationed in Elizabeth, where he was familiar with the region and it’s people, Sonny worked closely with the local Aboriginal community.
For Sonny, policing was a way to help the community, particularly to help young people get back on the right track.
Now retired, Sonny looks back at his time at S.A.P.O.L with mixed feelings. He feels that he was able to make some difference. However, he was hoping to see a better way of doing things with regards to the Aboriginal community and feels that this is still not working very well.
Meanwhile, Sonny maintains his relationship with S.A.P.O.L. as a patron of the academy.
When asked why he retired from S.A.P.O.L. when he did, Sonny replied “I was getting too old to chase crooks!”
These days Sonny likes to spend his leisure time chasing golf balls around the Sandy Creek Golf Club.
Sonny at the beautiful Sandy Creek Golf Club.