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Lowitja O'Donoghue, 1994: the Stolen Generations

This clip shows Lowitja O'Donoghue talking about her name and about being removed from her mother at the age of two, the youngest child in her family. She says that Lois, the name she went by when she was younger, was a biblical name that had been given to her by the missionaries after she was removed from her mother. As ...

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Adoption of Indigenous Australian children

Imagine being taken away from your family and forced to live with people from another language, place and culture. This interview, recorded a week before the 1967 Referendum, captures an the perspective of Margaret Valadian, a prominent young Aboriginal Australian, on the practice of adoption and the removal of Aboriginal ...


My Place - Episode 1: 2008: Laura, The apology

Laura and her family are at the community centre to listen to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s address to Indigenous people apologising for decades of government policy that allowed children to be stolen from their families. However, Laura is more concerned with the apology she needs to make to Michaelis.

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Australia's 1967 Referendum

Why have the results of the 1967 Referendum had a lasting symbolic significance? Civil rights activist Faith Bandler describes a long and well-organised struggle for the referendum and the reasons for it. Find out what percentage of Australians voted to alter the Constitution so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ...

Interactive resource

Secondary history: historical inquiry - research

These seven learning activities focus on research using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware), and illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers provide appropriate guidance and scaffolds ...

Interactive resource

Mervyn Bishop: the old days

Explore a personal perspective on Australia’s Indigenous heritage through the photos of Indigenous photographer Mervyn Bishop. Examine his family photos and personal notes. Look at the early experiences of his maternal grandmother, including her assignment to domestic service work for other families. Find out how authorities ...

Interactive resource

Mervyn Bishop: mission life

Explore a personal perspective on Australia’s Indigenous heritage through the photos of Indigenous photographer Mervyn Bishop. Examine his family photos and personal notes. Look at the early experiences of his maternal grandmother, including her life in a mission and assignment to domestic service work. Investigate how ...


Rabbit-proof fence, 2002: The stealing of children

This clip shows the removal of three Aboriginal girls from their mothers, the desperate attempts by the mothers to prevent them being taken and the subsequent mourning of the women for their loss. The arrival of a car interrupts peaceful play and Maude (Ningali Lawford) calls out to the children to run. Despite their struggles, ...


Rabbit-Proof Fence, 2002: The wrong fence

This clip depicts the children trying to return home. It opens with Mr Neville (Kenneth Branagh) in his office pointing to a map and telling a policeman the plan to capture the escaped children by sending one man from the north and another from the south along the rabbit-proof fence. Images of an Indigenous tracker on horseback ...


Proposal to take Aboriginal children to new NT settlement, 1911

This is a letter from the administrator of the Northern Territory, Samuel Mitchell, to the federal minister for external affairs, Egerton Batchelor, suggesting that police 'gather in' all 'half caste children' who are living with Aboriginal people and take them to a proposed Aboriginal settlement. He notes that 'No doubt ...


Report on rationing and conditions in Kahlin Compound, 1936

This is a report dated 22 May 1936 for the Chief Protector of Aboriginals, Darwin. It covers food 'RATIONING AND GENERAL CONDITIONS OF HALFCASTE INMATES OF KAHLIN COMPOUND' in Darwin. The acting superintendent, A X Herbert, outlines how food rations were issued to the 210 'inmates' over the previous seven weeks. He also ...


Stolen Generations, 2000: Dreams of whiteness

This clip explores attitudes about the Stolen Generations. It begins with a black-and-white newsreel feature titled 'A Dream Comes True: NATIVE GIRLS' "FAIRY PALACE"'. The feature shows two Indigenous children and an older Indigenous girl from Melville Island in the Northern Territory with their adoptive family at home ...


Stolen Generations, 2000: Never the same again

This clip portrays the experiences of Daisy Howard, a member of the Stolen Generations who was taken from her family at the age of 2. The clip begins by showing archival black-and-white footage of Indigenous children at the Beagle Bay Mission in Western Australia lining up to go into a church. The clip then cuts to a modern ...


Rosie, 2004: Reunited

This clip shows Rosie Fraser, a member of the Stolen Generations, talking about her life. She recalls meeting her sister Beverley for the first time since they were separated in early childhood. Photographs of Rosie's wedding and of her four children are shown as Rosie explains that her uncertainty about her identity led ...


Couldn't Be Fairer, 1984: Discovery is just a word

This clip shows black-and-white archival footage of Indigenous Australians engaged in traditional ceremonial activities, building a shelter, fishing with spears and collecting food. This footage includes narration by Aboriginal activist Mick Miller, who details the treatment of Indigenous people since Australia was colonised ...


Confessions of a Headhunter, 2000: Cousins

This clip shows an encounter between Vinnie (Kelton Pell) and Franky (Bruce Hutchison) in which the two men learn that they are cousins. Vinnie is sitting in a park with an Elder making a sketch from a black-and-white photograph when Franky approaches with a photograph of a group of Indigenous women. Franky says his foster ...


Night Cries - A Rural Tragedy, 1989: Washing feet

This clip opens with a close-up of an Aboriginal woman's hands gently bathing the gnarled feet of her elderly Anglo-Australian mother. A flashback shows the mother as a young woman playing with her daughter by a stormy ocean, then leaving her in the care of two boys. The girl's obvious distress appears to go unnoticed by ...


Moodeitj Yorgas, 1988: My place

This clip shows three prominent Indigenous women. Writer Sally Morgan and singer Lois Olney talk about their lives, and activist Ulli (Helen) Corbett discusses concerns such as the deaths in custody of Indigenous women. The clip is from an experimental documentary film and the women's voices here are deliberately out of ...


North Stradbroke Island school, 1917

This is a black-and-white photograph showing a group of nine children on the veranda of the Special Provisional School at Myora (Moongalba) on North Stradbroke Island near Brisbane in Queensland. The school is a single-storey building elevated on wooden stumps with a pitched roof made from wooden shingles. This image first ...


Australian Indigenous children at 'the Bungalow', 1928

This is a black-and-white photograph of a large group of Australian Indigenous children and some adults at an Indigenous children's institution or 'home' known as 'the Bungalow' in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. A row of small children sit on the ground with two rows of older children and adults standing behind ...