Year 6 students hear from Kinchela ‘boys’

Members of the stolen generation have shared their truths with IGS students.

“Last week, Year 6 had a visit from Uncle Michael, Uncle Roger and Uncle Bobby from the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation,” wrote Mollie of Year 6.

“They are survivors of what is known as The Stolen Generation. We sat silently on the carpet as they opened our eyes to the disgusting mistreatment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that happened when they were growing up.

“It’s strange and horrifying to think that before this term we had no idea of the horrible truth that is the Stolen Generations.

“The Uncles encouraged us to share their stories. Our parents, who were not told much of the Stolen Generations when they were children, were astonished to hear of the tales that had been hidden for so long.

“For years, the Uncles were ignored and disbelieved, which only made their pain grow stronger. Uncle Michael, or ‘Widdy’, was quick to tell us that if you have pain inside you, don’t hold on to it; set it free by sharing and expressing and ultimately, healing.

“The visit from the Uncles will stay with us forever.

“We hope that by listening to and sharing their stories we can be part of their healing.

“Uncle Roger helped us understand that we are the future leaders of Australia and we have an important role to play in our country moving forward.”

We thank Mollie for writing this poem, inspired by the poetry of Uncle Ian Crowe.

Crow

Just seven years old

When the bad men took him away;

Away to Kinchela.

“We lost everything,”

Said Uncle Crow,

And what he said was true.

They cut his hair,

They burned his clothes,

They stole his identity.

Number forty-one.

No name, no language, no culture.

He was number forty-one.

Connections lost,

Wounds unhealed,

Memories he would never forget.

“I survived because my brothers looked after me,”

He said, and that he will always remember.

Because at Kinchela, you went through hell

But you went through hell together.

“…just little kids, taken away from our families.”

He wrote,

His poems not only raw and beautiful,

But a way to express the deep pain inside him.

The losses, the tragedy,

The hate, the forgiving.

And like a crow with a broken wing,

He heals.