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Portraits of survival from Kinchela Boys Home

Sarah Barker | Australia

Uncle Cecil Bowden, survivor, Kinchela Boys Home

From 1924 until 1970, between 400 and 600 Aboriginal boys were forcibly removed from their families and placed in the Kinchela Boys Home (KBH) on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia. The harsh treatment they suffered was documented in "Bringing them home, the report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families". These photographs are portraits of some of the survivors of KBH who were stolen in infancy, forbidden from speaking their Indigenous languages, brutalised as children, and sent into the world without family or a complete education.

Kinchela Boys Home closed in 1970.

In 2002 some of the former inmates of Kinchela Boys Home formed the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) which aims to assist Kinchela men, their families and communities recover their identity, dignity and well-being.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are respectfully advised that this series of photographs contains images of people who have died.

“We remember and lament all the children who will never come home.” 

The KBH Portrait Project was the brain child of Pastor Raymond Minniecon, whose inspiration and hard work made it happen.

I thank the KBH men for their generosity and for trusting me with their stories. It has been an honour to do this voluntary work for the KBH men. Making their portraits is my Sorry to the KBH men, and all members of the Stolen Generation and their families, for the injustices of the past.

Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC)



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