Ward was born in Perth. When she was a year old she was forcibly removed from her birth family (see Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children) because her mother took her to the doctor when she was ill. Initially she was put into a Catholic orphanage near Perth and later sent to a mission station 80 miles away. She was not good in school and was made a servant on the mission.
When she was 15 or 16 she was hired out as a domestic servant to wealthy whites, but a year later she ran away. She worked as a kitchen domestic, then a nursing assistant, and then for the community health services in Perth.
She writes autobiographically-based books.
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