‘We are Soul Sisters’
Eleven Coota Girls survivors and family members attended a forum in Kempsey on 8 July 2019 convened by the Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation and hosted by Coota Girls director, Aunty Janet Smith. The forum is the first of five to be held in coming months across regional NSW and greater Sydney.
Discussions focused on how Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation can best support survivors and their families in their collective healing.
Ideas discussed included: telling survivor stories in schools and at public events; building confidence and skills among survivors and their families to tell the stories; family reunions; trauma education; family fun days; and opportunities for yarning and reflection.
The ideas and suggestions from the five forums will be the basis for future Coota Girl planning and funding applications.
In the afternoon, a panel of Stolen Generation survivors including Uncles Richard Campbell, Michael Welsh and Ian “Crow” Ward from Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corp, Aunties Rebekah Curtis and Aileen Bell from LinkUp NSW, and Aunty Miriam Miller from Coota Girls, led a conversation about strengthening ties between survivors, and addressing contemporary needs for healing, of survivors and their families.
Our thanks to: board members and counsellors from Link Up NSW, Uncle Bob Mumbler of Dunghutti Elders Association, Uncle John Kelly, Burrun Dalai, and Steve Donovan and his dance group.