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Truth Telling

Year 10 and Year 11 learned first-hand about the importance of Aboriginal truth-telling in the journey towards genuine reconciliation and healing.

Stolen Gen pics

On Friday 13 May, the students were privileged to receive a visit from two Uncles - former residents of the Kinchela Boys Home, one of the most notorious institutions associated with the Stolen Generations. It was an opportunity to share in the process of truth-telling and engage with Australia’s past at a deeper level of understanding and empathy.

Between 400 and 600 young boys were incarcerated at the Kinchela Boys’ home on the NSW mid-north coast from 1924 to 1970. They were some of the thousands of children taken from their families, who form the Stolen Generation.

The Uncles’ stories about the institutionalised removal of children from their families and communities were heartbreaking and raw, revealing both the suffering and the enormous strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Stolen Gen pics2

“You are my healers while I am talking to you here today”, one Uncle said.

The students and staff asked questions about the impact on Indigenous Peoples, of the 2008 National Apology and the Uluru Statement of the Heart.

“Watching the 2008 Apology released a certain amount of pain inside of us because it showed us that we are not alone like we thought we were alone”, the Uncles said. “But at the same time, thousands of children are still taken and put into care, so what does sorry mean?”

Regarding the Uluru Statement of the Heart, they said “Uluru? We weren’t involved in it, so we can’t answer that question ... but how can a treaty or voice in parliament serve the needs of 500 different nations? This is one of the reasons we are here today, to let our voice be known and share the pain that we know more about than anybody else”.