Vatican’s first ever World Cycling Team hears stories of truth-telling and reconciliation

As part of their visit to Australia to compete in the 2022 UCI Road World Championships, the first ever Vatican World Cycling Team joined Caritas Australia to learn about truth-telling and reconciliation. 


The Vatican team, along with Archbishop Charles Balvo, the Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, visited Caritas Australia’s office in Sydney to spend a morning with Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation, to learn about Australia’s history of kidnapping Aboriginal children from their families and communities.  


The guests learned about truth-telling and reconciliation in Australia directly from survivors of Kinchela Boys Home, Uncle Roger Jarrett (#12) and Uncle Richard Campbell (#28).


“The pain [of being kidnapped] is indescribable...being taken as a kid, you just lose everything, your love and your heart just goes. You’re put in that place where you’re just a number, and it’s very painful, it’s still painful today,” said Uncle Roger Jarrett.  


Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) is a longstanding partner of Caritas Australia, and was formed by the survivors of Kinchela Boys Home in Kempsey, New South Wales, who were forcibly removed from their families during the Stolen Generations. It seeks to address the trauma of being forcibly removed from their families, as well as the multigenerational trauma that adversely impacts on the lives of their families and descendants.     


“It is integral to our commitment to reconciliation and truth-telling that we prioritise the voices of our partners and amplify the stories of those who have been most impacted,” said Kirsty Robertson, Caritas Australia’s CEO.  


“For us it was more important to have done this than to be standing on the podium on Sunday,” said Rien Schuurhuis, a Dutch-born professional cyclist who made his world debut representing the Vatican in Wollongong on 25 September.


Media contact: Jessica Stone