A Boy's Short Life: The Story of Warren Braedon/Louis Johnson by Anna Haebich, Steve Mickler

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He never knew his name, he never knew his mother, he never knew his family, he never knew his people, he never knew his country. Born Alice Springs, 4th January, 1973, murdered Perth, 4th January, 1992...because he was black. [From the epitaph at Alice Springs Cemetery] ***


Warren Braedon, named Louis St. John Johnson by his adoptive parents, was taken from his mother in Alice Springs at just three months old. Told that he had been abandoned, Louis's adoptive parents, Bill and Pauline Johnson raised him in a loving family in Perth. Despite a happy childhood, Louis was increasingly targeted by school bullies and the police for his Aboriginality. As he grew older, his need to meet his natural family prompted visits to Alice Springs with his parents, but they were thwarted by bureaucracy. Louis was planning to return to Alice Springs when, walking home on his 19th birthday, he was brutally murdered by a group of white youths whose admitted motive was 'because he was black.' Originally published in the multi-award-winning and seminal history of the Aboriginal 'Stolen Generations' (Broken Circles by Anna Haebich), the story of Louis Johnson/Warren Braedon captures the dark heart of racism in modern Australia through the tragic story of one boy and his short life. A Boy's Short Life is an in-depth history of Aboriginal discrimination, highlighted through an individual story of injustice, one that raises issues that continue to challenge our society.