Survivors of the notorious Kinchela Boys Home share their moving experiences with Wenona.
Former residents of the Kinchela Boys Home, known as the Uncles, visited Wenona on Tuesday 9 May, to educate Year 10 students about the legacy of the Stolen Generations and highlight the ongoing pain and trauma faced by survivors.
The Uncles shared their experiences as part of the Kinchela Boys Home Outreach Program, which aims to inform the Australian public about the legacy of the home and the Stolen Generations.
This incursion really helped me to understand the impact these policies had on a very deep and emotional level," said Isabelle (Year 10). One thing that stuck out was how these Uncles were treated and the huge effect it has had on their entire lives and especially their relationships.”
Young Aboriginal boys were incarcerated in the Home between 1924 and 1970, under the authority of the New South Wales Aborigines Protection Board. The conditions within the institution were harsh and the boys endured physical hardship, punishment, cruelty, alienation, and abuse.
Today, the former Kinchela Boys Home site is a place of deep significance to survivors, their families, and communities. Visits to schools such as Wenona are a healing experience for the Uncles as well as informative for the students.
"The Uncles' presentation strengthened my understanding of the assimilation and protection policy, allowing me to critique it knowledgeably," said Lititia (Year 10). "Listening to Uncle Widdy, Bobby, and Allan's stories of the abuse and extreme discrimination they faced, was a poignant reminder that these policies and acts of cultural genocide are not that far back in Australia’s history. This means that we need to acknowledge and educate ourselves on this history in order to understand the continuing impacts that we see today.”