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Jonathon Slottje


Jonathon was born at the Brisbane Women’s Hospital in 1947 to Cecile Walker who lived in Wolvi, Queensland. His grandmother was Eleanor Ryan, daughter of Gubbi Gubbi midwife Christina Copson and Irishman Michael Ryan. Due to severe abuse at the hands of his Russian stepfather Walter Lucas, Jonathon was taken in and raised by his grandmother Eleanor and her partner Frank Wild in Redcliffe.

The effects of the abuse he was subjected to, along with the racism rife in Australian society at the time, led to many stints of incarceration from the late 1960s until the late 1980s. Jonathon married in the 1970s, and he and his wife moved to New Zealand where his four sons were born. He believed his children would grow up less risk of the racism he had experienced in my country of birth. However, ghosts of the past caught up with him and he was deported back to Australia where he served more time, while his marriage broke up and he lost contact with his children. Jonathon met his current wife Elizabeth in Brisbane in 1992, and together they began the business that they still run today.

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.