*Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following content may cause sadness and distress, and may contain images, names and voices of people who have died.
The Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) has released a moving and dramatic animated video featuring first-hand accounts from Stolen Generations survivors.
KBHAC is encouraging the community to watch and share We Were Just Little Boys this NAIDOC Week, as an important contribution to truth telling.
The Kinchela Boys Home (KBH) on South West Rocks Road near Kempsey, was among Australia's most notorious Stolen Generations institutions, with an estimated 400 to 600 Aboriginal children exposed to routine acts of cultural genocide.
It was run by the New South Wales Government between 1924 to 1970.
The just-released video highlights the human impacts of the forced Aboriginal child removal policies that created the Stolen Generations.
"KBHAC is guided by a survivor-led practice framework where central to the healing process is the practice of truth telling" says CEO and co-producer of the video Dr Tiffany McComsey.
"In keeping with these values, We Were Just Little Boys is a very powerful and moving depiction of this horrific chapter in Australia's history and the ongoing legacies that survivors want to put an end to.
"They (the survivors) show us that without truth telling there can be no healing."
The film exemplifies this year's NAIDOC Week theme - Get up! Stand Up! Show Up! - in reminding viewers that Stolen Generations survivors who passed through the gates of the now-closed home, and countless other institutions across Australia, are still fighting for justice, truth, and healing for themselves, their descendants, and families.
"The more we talk, the stronger we get, and it is only through talking that our pain will end with us, and our children and grandchildren will not be filled with hate," says KBH survivor and KBHAC Board Member Uncle Roger Jarrett.
"We have the right to rebuild our family structures," says KBH survivor and KBHAC Chairperson Uncle Michael Welsh. "And we have the solutions that will ensure our Survivors', our descendants', and [our] families' social, emotional, and cultural wellbeing. [As well as] family and community healing and economic wellbeing."
We Were Just Little Boys takes viewers through the traumatic journey of one group of Stolen Generations survivors as they remember the moment they were taken from their families, through to the ongoing impacts of trauma once they were released as adults onto the streets.
They narrate the story, which is illustrated by survivor Uncle Richard Campbell.
While many scars may never heal, some KBH survivors said they have found solace in the truth telling that comes with sharing their stories and memories.
They have dedicated the video to their parents, partners, and children as a reminder that trauma reverberates through generations.
"For the survivors of Kinchela Boys Home, this film is a tribute to their bravery and resilience and a call to action," Dr McComsey said.
"Once you watch this film, the call to action is clear. We must all get up, show up, and stand up to ensure what happened to Stolen Generations Survivors never happens to any child ever again. Together we can support Survivor-led solutions that will create meaningful and lasting intergenerational healing."
To learn more about Kinchela Boys Home visit www.kinchelaboyshome.org.au
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