The Stolen Generations' Testimonials' Project

The ‘Stolen Generations’ Testimonies’ Project is an initiative to record on film the personal testimonies of Australia’s Stolen Generations Survivors and share them online. 

The Stolen Generations' Testimonies Foundation hopes the online museum will become a national treasure and a unique and sacred keeping place for Stolen Generations’ Survivors’ Testimonies. By allowing Australians to listen to the Survivors’ stories with open hearts and without judgement, the foundation hopes more people will be engaged in the healing process. 

In 2009 more than thirty Stolen Generations’ Survivors shared their stories, their memories and themselves in the first round of interviews for the ‘Stolen Generations’ Testimonies Foundation’. These are their testimonies.  Thank you to those Survivors for their generosity of spirit in sharing their testimonies with us.  

From one of the Survivors - Debra Hocking

There’s nothing more powerful than the personal story. For people to understand, we have to open ourselves up. It’s hard to tell our personal stories but we are doing this to educate people. For us to heal as a country these are the stories we need to share. They’re sad stories but they’re important stories. For me as a Stolen Generations’ Survivor, I know you don’t get over things. You sometimes don’t fully recover.  What you do is you adjust and you build your life around the scars and that’s what you have to do in order to survive. And many of us have survived. Whatever this resilience is, whatever this stuff is that keeps us going, it is the strength of the Aboriginal spirit that keeps us alive. For those people who do feel challenged about the ‘Stolen Generations’, we ask you to listen to just one of these testimonies to see if you still feel the same. That’s all we ask.

Caught in an abyss: Written by Lorraine McGee-Sippel (1997)

Belonging where?
Belonging where?
Thousands of children
Heartache despair.
Stolen, separated
Leaving mothers behind
Lost to our Culture, Music, Dance and Art.
Lost to Ourselves – our Families - our Hearts.
As a child – wondering
What did I do wrong?
Who the hell am I?
A feeling so strong
The taunts of a childhood
All a whirl
‘Half-caste, half-caste
Little black girl.’
Italiano? Greek?
Maori or what?
Some of the questions asked a lot
Too black to be white.
Too white to be black.
Caught in the middle
Belonging no where.

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(Sourced from The ‘Stolen Generations’ Testimonies’ Project)