“We want everyone who is suffering in silence to get the help they deserve” Aunty Lorraine Peeters.
Coota Girls survivors and descendants attended a forum hosted by Directors of the Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation (CGAC) in Dubbo on Wiradjuri country on 22 October to explore how CGAC can support survivors and their families on their healing journeys. The forum follows others in Kempsey, Wagga Wagga and Redfern.
Directors are keen to reach out to survivors and their families across NSW and to work with them to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma. A key message from forum participants was that the ongoing removal of children from their families must stop. Families need support to address the issues they are facing, before any decisions are made to remove their children.
Ideas for future activities included: telling the history of Stolen Generations including recording and distributing survivor stories especially in schools and having the history of the Coota Girls Home told on site; helping families heal through wraparound support, and convening regional and family gatherings; and having direct conversations with government agencies.
The ideas and suggestions from the five forums will form the basis of future Coota Girls planning and funding applications. In the afternoon, a panel of Stolen Generations survivors including Aunties Lorraine Peeters, Fay Moseley and Janet Smith from Coota Girls, and Uncle Harry Ritchie from Kinchela Boys Home told their stories to an audience that included local government representatives and managers and staff from the Department of Communities and Justice.
The final forum will be held in Campbelltown on 8 November 2019. More details from our website. Our thanks to Jamie McLennan and the Tubba-gah dancers and to our friends and family at Allira and Tubba-gah Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation.