Stolen Generation Survivors Speak on Sorry Day & Reconciliation Week

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Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) is an organisation for and led by survivors of what is commonly known as the Stolen Generations. 

KBHAC is a partner of Caritas Australia and through a peer-led model offers belonging, understanding and brotherhood to men who were forcibly taken from their families as young as two-years of age through government policies that created The Stolen Generation. 

From 1924 to 1970 children were forcibly removed from their families from across NSW and other states to “Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Training Home” located in Kinchela on New South Wales’ mid-North Coast. There were many similar places built across Australia and this is just one example. (Map of Institutions found here

While the experience of survivors is mixed, the children’s names were removed and they were only referred to by a number, they were punished by being chained to a tree overnight, had their shoes removed, were often beaten and subject to different forms of abuse. Many of the uncles who survived say they never spoke about what they experienced until KBHAC was born and they were able to start to heal, decades later. 

Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week means different things to the members of Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation which includes the uncles who survived and their children and grandchildren who also were affected through intergenerational trauma. 

KBHAC has created two videos which can be used as resources to provide context to Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week. 

Uncle James Michael ‘Widdy’ Welsh begins each video with an acknowledgement of country and a moment’s silence for KBHAC brothers who have passed away.

Members of Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation share their thoughts on Sorry Day

Kinchela Boys Home Aborginal Corporation also runs a Mobile Education Centre which is a mobile museum that can visit schools and parishes to share the experiences of the Uncles and their descendants and enables communities to engage in a truth-telling experience. Training and speaking engagements are also available. 

The Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation website houses other resources including the history of KBH and a moving song by Uncle Roy Read (1999).

“Why was I taken from my family 
To be stripped of my culture, my identity
To be told I wasn’t black,
I was just darker than the rest
Oh why, tell me why.” 

Roy Read, 1999
Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation members speak on Reconciliation Week and the role of non-Indigenous Australians in Truth-Telling.

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