Reconciliation Site Protected Under Heritage
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Heritage Don Harwin today announced $220,000 in Heritage Grants to two projects involving Kempsey’s former Kinchela Boys Home.
Presenting the grants in Kempsey at the start of Reconciliation Week, Minister Harwin said places such as the former boy’s home are a painful, but important reminder of the past.
“Not all heritage items can be celebrated but helping the community to acknowledge and share painful parts of their story is an integral part of the heritage journey.
“The Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Training Home is rare historical evidence of the policies of the early 20th century which saw Aboriginal children removed from their families in order to assimilate them into white society.
“Supposed to be places of learning, homes such as these became places of psychological and physical pain.
“Today I was pleased to present the Kempsey Local Aboriginal Land Council with $150,000 towards a project to identify, plan and then implement reconstruction, repair and maintenance work to preserve the important site.
“Additionally, the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation received $70,000 towards a project creating a healing precinct. This is a community led project which will recognise and interpret sites of significance associated with the former boys’ home.
“I had the privilege of meeting the communities who are caring for the Kinchela Boy’s Home. I was humbled by their stories and aspirations, as we reflected on the past during the Sorry Day gathering and our sharing of this good news with this community.
“I commend the groups behind these two worthy projects for their dedication to building community awareness and understanding of this site,” Minister Harwin said. “Their partnership is a great example of the intent behind Reconciliation Week - where we need to walk together with courage for a better future.
The Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey MP, thanked Minister Harwin for the grant.
“While many people now know it as Bennelong’s Haven, the Kinchela site is a very significant part of the history of both the Macleay Valley and our nation. As such, it is very meaningful that the NSW Government is supporting these projects at Kinchela.”
These are among 241 projects statewide that shared $5.8 million in Heritage Grants awarded across three categories: Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, Caring for State Heritage and Community Heritage.
For more information about the projects and the NSW Government’s Heritage Grants, see https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/heritage/grants-and-funding.
Media: Patrick Moore | 0419 736 374
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