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Moving tributes to Kinchela survivors at 90th anniversay commemorations

24-Nov-2014

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello today attended a commemorative event at the former Kinchela Aboriginal Boys' Training Home to mark 90 years since its opening.

Mr Dominello said Kinchela Boys Home, located in the Macleay Valley near Kempsey, operated between 1924 and 1970 where NSW authorities incarcerated 500 Aboriginal children, mostly boys, many of whom were subjected to poor treatment and abuse.

Over 300 people attended the 90th anniversary event, including former Kinchela boys and their families, Kempsey Local Aboriginal Land Council representatives, Mayor of Kempsey Liz Campbell and CEO of the National Healing Foundation Richard Weston.

The NSW Government is proud to provide $38,000 in funding for this weekend's commemorations and the KBH Survivor Recording Project to enable around 20 men who lived at the home to record and share their incredible stories through film.

The films which were screened today for the first time offer a remarkable insight into the hardship these men faced and enduring bonds they have formed to support one another through the healing process.

Today a chain cutting ceremony was also held at the gates to Kinchela where decades ago these men entered the home for the first time, leaving behind their names, families and identities.

They became known only by a number and I commend the survivors of Kinchela Boys Home for their courage in speaking publicly about their experiences at the home.

Healing is integral to OCHRE, the NSW Government Plan for Aboriginal Affairs with initiatives like Language and Culture Nests and Local Decision Making helping to address inter-generational trauma by strengthening pride in culture and local governance capacity. Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation Strategic Development Manager Tiffany McComsey said the success of the event demonstrated the commitment of the surviving men to overcome adversity and support each other in their Healing.

"I thank Minister Dominello and the NSW Government for its support of our truth-telling project and this historic commemorative event. Without their encouraging support this healing commemoration would not have been possible," Ms McComsey said.

Information about the work of KBHAC and the KBH Survivor Recording Project can be found at: http://www.kinchelaboyshome.org.au/.

Media: Matt Dawson 0427 145 575


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