Young voices help tell the story of intergenerational healing

The Healing Foundation has today launched a new podcast series on intergenerational trauma from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective to tell the story of the healing needed for all Australian communities.

The Healing Our Way podcast touches on sensitive and confronting themes around trauma and gives young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a chance to share their thoughts about intergenerational healing and the concept of truth telling.

In launching the first episode, The Healing Foundation Chairman Professor Steve Larkin said it would provide listeners a chance to hear the real stories and lived experience of Stolen Generations survivors and their descendants as they discuss their journeys and thoughts about how we can continue to heal our communities.

“Historical injustice is still a source of intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and we see it playing out in families and communities across the country,” Professor Larkin said.

“Truth telling has an impact on every aspect of the lives of our Stolen Generations survivors, their families and communities and this podcast will help people to understand the stories and experiences, the real stories of our people.

“The Healing Our Way podcast has the capacity to build social capital, goodwill and unity by creating shared understanding of our history and building knowledge so that we can avoid repeating mistakes of the past.”

For more than two decades, Stolen Generations survivors have been telling Australians about the challenges they face in their everyday life as a result of their painful childhood experiences and the unresolved trauma they continue to carry.

They have also documented their fears about a legacy of trauma, and associated disadvantage unknowingly passed on to their families.

The Healing Our Way podcast provides a new perspective on the intergenerational impact of removal and uncovers individual stories of loss, isolation, abuse, sexual assault, and neglect when children were taken from their homes to be institutionalised and trained for domestic servitude, farm work, or fostered with non-Indigenous families.

“The trauma we face in our day-to-day lives, either directly or indirectly, has its genesis in the violent early history of Australia’s frontier wars and the policies that followed, including the forced removal of children,” Professor Larkin said.

“It’s important to remember that this history is ongoing, that it progressed from the poisoning of people at water holes to removing people from their families, their land, their culture and their languages and the more insidious practices of assimilation.

“By showing that Stolen Generations and their families experience greater levels of adversity than other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are already at a disadvantage in Australia, we can see a direct link between traumatic childhood experiences, intergenerational trauma, and many of the social and health issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities today.”

While the podcasts consider sensitive themes, they also highlight the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture.

Hosted by Jax Compton and developed in consultation with The Healing Foundation’s Youth Reference Group, episode one features Kinchela Boys Home survivor Uncle Michel Welsh and his son Bobby Dixon. We also hear from Aunty Leslie Franks and Blayke Tatafu.

You can listen to the first podcast episode now at The Healing Foundation website or via Spotify and iTunes. More episodes from this series will be released in the coming weeks.

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to heal trauma caused by the widespread and deliberate disruption of populations, cultures and languages over 230 years.  This includes specific actions like the forced removal of children from their families.

Media contact: Ben O’Halloran – 0474 499 911 or ben@healingfoundation.org.au

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