Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation launches the nation’s first Stolen Generations Mobile Education Centre

19 Mar 20
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The KBHAC Mobile Education Centre. Exterior designed by Uncle Richard Campbell, No. 28. Photo credits : Koreen Cueto.

“For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.”

On 13 February 2020, the 12th anniversary of our former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples, Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) launched the nation’s first Stolen Generations Mobile Education Centre.

This was a historic day for the survivors of Kinchela Boys Home (KBH), an infamous institution that held Aboriginal children in New South Wales. Of the over 500 boys sent to KBH, the remaining 63 are ready share their stories, determined for history not to repeat itself.

The launch was held at Carriageworks in Redfern where many Aboriginal Community Organisations stood alongside KBHAC in a celebration of culture and a sharing of experiences, including the Children of Bomaderry Aboriginal Children’s Home, Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation and the Stolen Generations Council NSW/ACT.

Uncle Richard Campbell, a Gumbaynggir Dunghutti man, also known as No. #28 paid tribute to “the strength of the Stolen Generation survivors and the work they do so that the pain stops with them.”

One of the members of the Stolen Generations Council NSW/ACT identified that the bus has always been a symbol for the struggle of Indigenous people throughout the world. “Once, we weren’t allowed on the bus. Then we were allowed on the back, and eventually the seats,” before affirming, “I see this bus as a vehicle of change, driving the message that this was and always be Aboriginal land.”

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The notorious gate at the front of KBHAC, now on display in the KBHAC Mobile Education Centre. Photo credit: Koreen Cueto.

The interior of the bus is designed to take people on a journey: from the early policies of Assimilation and Integration, the harsh conditions faced within KBH and its eventual dismantling, to acknowledgements of intergenerational trauma faced by survivors today.

The Mobile Education Centre seeks to be a centre of knowledge, as well as a safe space for truth-telling for current and future generations.

Caritas Australia is proud to partner with Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation, and to journey with them on their path to healing and truth-telling.

Find out more about our program with Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation here or discover our other work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here.

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Caritas Australia Programs staff, past and present in front of the Mobile Education Centre. Photo credits: Koreen Cueto.