The path to Australia’s first truth-telling museum
26 May 2021 at 4:28 pm
“This museum and healing centre will ensure what happened to Stolen Generations survivors will never be repeated.”
A campaign has been launched to build the country’s first truth-telling museum and healing centre for Stolen Generations survivors and their families, a move Indigenous leaders say is critical in Australia’s truth-telling journey.
Launching the campaign to coincide with National Sorry Day, the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) is proposing to host the site on a historic property run by the NSW government that housed between 400 and 600 young Aboriginal boys forcibly removed from their families between 1924 and 1970.
KBHAC CEO Dr Tiffany McComsey said that the site, historical records and the memories and stories of the home’s survivors – known as the Uncles – would highlight Australia’s dark past so that history would never be repeated.
“The property is a place of deep importance for the Uncles, their families and communities,” McComsey said.
“The site and its associated places hold memories, both painful and otherwise, of their childhood after being kidnapped from their families.”
KBHAC chairperson Uncle James Michael ‘Widdy’ Welsh (Uncle Widdy) is calling on all Australians to support the project.
“Without truth telling there can be no healing,” said Uncle Widdy.
“Our pain must stop with us; this museum and healing centre will ensure what happened to Stolen Generations survivors will never be repeated. It will contribute to the rebuilding of our family structures and support the journey to lasting intergenerational healing across Australia.”
KBHAC will need to raise $5 million through donations to purchase, repair and conserve the property, and build the envisioned living museum and healing centre.
The organisation has already received support from one of NSW’s leading bus services, CDC, who has committed $750,000 to a partnership over three years.
McComsey said it was an example of the cross-community collaboration at the heart of reconciliation in action.
“Genuine collaboration and mutual support between people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and non-Indigenous communities is the only way forward. We need to work together towards the common goal of intergenerational healing,” she said.