"I never found mum, she died while I was in Kinchela," former occupant of the notorious boys’ home Ian ‘Crow’ Lowe explains.
Imagine being a seven-year old, one second you’re in your family’s backyard, next you’re lured into a strange car and taken to the courthouse.
You’re then removed to a foreign place, where unfamiliar people strip you naked, burn your clothes, cut your hair, cover you in white powder, and throw you in a shower.
This is the horrific fate thrust upon members of the Stolen Generation.
Their indentities were then stripped and replaced with a number.
"Your name is forty-one, you're not Ian," Mr Lowe said.
"I'll remember that number until I die."
They were told not to talk to Aboriginal people.
They weren’t allowed to speak their own language and they were forced into a life of child labour.
"They were strict on us, even though I was seven I had to work for an hour before breakfast," Mr Lowe said.
"If I didn't finish it I'd have to come back after school.
"If they still didn't like the job, I'd get no tea.
"There was bad things going on, boys were raped.
"I survived because my brothers looked after me.”
The proud Dunghutti man laments losing his culture and language.
“I would love to know my own language,” he said.
"Without language you don't really have culture.
"We lost everything, family life, culture and they took away our childhoods.
"They brainwashed us, and tried to make us white, but we knew we weren't white.”
Crow says the only time the boys were happy was when they were outside the home’s grounds.
"Some of us didn't like school, but we were still happy to be away from Kinchela,” he said.
"Boys often cried for their mothers and fathers.
"You would cry dry-eyed, so you learned not to show your tears.”
Mr Lowe was in the home from 1963-1970 when it was finally closed after the yes result in the 1967 referendum.
He considers the boys with whom he shared so much pain and suffering to be part of an extended family.
Crow did reunite with his family, but never saw his mother after the day he was stolen.
“I busted out in tears when I met my family,” he said.
He now expresses his anguish through poetry and believes this has helped him to heal immensely.
Mr Lowe twice read his poetry at the Sydney Opera House and has 60 poems in Kempsey’s Historical Museum.
YOU TAKE ME AWAY by Ian ‘Crow’ Lowe
You take me, from Love and love one’s.
But you said, come on
it will be all right
now we know, year’s later
it was to be wrong.
You take me to The Home,
but not my home of love.
Away from family and love one’s.
Year’s later family meet,
and now we are family
again once more.
You take me, away, and as I know
in my heart, that I didn’t
do anything wrong?
All I keep hearing,
is YOU saying
But we know,
It was to be wrong.
I am still wondering,
to this day,
WHY you take me away,
WHY, WHY, WHY?