Stolen Generations' stories go digital


Today sees the launch of the Stolen Generation Testimonies website, an initiative to record on film the personal testimonies of Australia's Stolen Generations and share them online.

Stolen Generation survivor Murray Harrison said he and his sisters were well cared for when they were taken away when he was nine-years-old, his story is revealed on a new website.

"Righto, you lot are gone" said the man at the Bruthen courthouse.

And nine-year-old Murray Harrison and his two sisters were taken away.

Now 71, Mr Harrison's story of survival as one of the Stolen Generation joins others on a website that catalogues their memories.

The Stolen Generations' Testimonies website was inspired by Steven Spielberg's Shoah project, whereby the spoken testimonies of over 52,000 holocaust survivors were filmed and collated.

The project's filmmaker, Melanie Hogan, said there are over 50 hours of testimonies from about 30 survivors so far, another 20 will be added before the end of the year.

"It is urgent because they are getting older and we have already lost three since the project started," Ms Hogan said.

All the participants allowed the project to continue displaying their images after their death, despite the traditional indigenous aversion to images of the deceased.

“The survivors want their stories to come directly from them, that they are recorded so that history is not repeated," Ms Hogan said.

"People do want to tell their stories but you have to hold them in the right space to be comfortable," she said.

Murray Harrison wants to tell his story because he feels he and his sisters were taken for the wrong reason.

“If they had taken us away because we were being neglected then I could understand that, but you see we were very well cared for, very happy children,” Mr Harrison said.

Melanie Hogan said that others who feel they were stolen should get in touch.

"Make contact. Know that there are people that want to listen," she said.

The website is to be officially launched tonight in Sydney.

Source SBS

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