The strangest thing happened to Carmen Nixon last week.
The 53-year-old Kamilaroi woman, who was born in Armidale but has lived almost all her years in Orange, was pondering the whereabouts of two black and white photos - one each of herself and her late brother, sitting on Santa's knee at Myer nearly half a century ago.
"I got some Christmas photos of my kids with Santa, and I was wondering where my photos were, and then all of a sudden within a couple of days I got the message."
The message came from an ex, who had seen on Facebook a post from a woman in Orange who had found a small, oval-shaped metal frame with two photos down the back of her lounge.
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"My ex said, 'I know those photos' ."
And then Ms Nixon saw the photos: "That's me! I remember it, I remember mum taking me to see Santa at Myers."
As it happened, Ms Nixon had been downsizing about four years ago when she put a lounge on an online buy, swap and sell page.
"Unbeknownst to me, the photos must have fallen down the back of the lounge.
"I've got two little kids, and they might have been playing with the photo frame on the lounge."
A woman bought the lounge and recently decided to pass it on to her daughter.
"She was pulling it apart to get it into her house and that's when she found it."
Of the two photos found with the frame, one is of Ms Nixon with Santa, and the other is a mass-produced photo inserted into frames before sale.
"There were two pictures in two little frames, one of me and one of my brother. They are treasured memories because all of my family have passed on now."
She is unsure of the exact location of the photo of her brother, but believes it to be packed in a box.
A mother of three, Ms Nixon was placed into foster care at 14 months and adopted by the same family when she was 10.
"It was only a couple of years ago that I found out I was part of the Stolen Generations," she said.
"I went looking for my [birth] parents but both are deceased, but I found brothers and sisters and I met them all. I'm the baby out of 10 - five boys and five girls."
Ms Nixon travels around the state for an Indigenous family service organisation, working with children who have been removed from the family home.
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