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                                                       Books of the Week

                                        

SBS has a new, eye-opening SBS documentary series: First Contact shines a light on the deep divide between Indigenous Australians and the rest of the nation by taking six non-Indigenous people and immersing them into Aboriginal Australia for the first time.

                               

In the first episode 'First Contact', one of the non-Indigenous Australians made these comments about the history of the Stolen Generation: "When they go on about the babies being taken and the stolen generation, yeah that's sad but it happened," Sandy said. "But they've probably whinged a bit too much."  Later it became clear that she had no idea about the true history of the Stolen Generation.

One book to educate on this sad Australian chapter is Doris Kartinyeri's Kick the Tin. When Doris Kartinyeri was a month old, her mother died. The family gathered to mourn their loss and welcome the new baby home. But Doris never arrived to live with her family – she was stolen from the hospital and placed in Colebrook Home, where she stayed for the next fourteen years.

'First Contact' is holding a mirror up to the colonial trauma on Indigenous peoples and communities - as discussed in Judy Atkinson's Trauma Trails, Recreating Song Lines: The Transgenerational Effects of Trauma in Indigenous Australia.

Author Ambelin Kwaymullina said this about Atkinson's important book: "The many harms inflicted by colonisation, sometimes referred to by Indigenous peoples as a ‘soul wound’, are complex and difficult to address; this book does not suggest otherwise. But nor does it underestimate the capacity of all human beings, and of Indigenous peoples in particular, to defy and overcome the worst of experiences. What Trauma Trails ultimately offers is a pathway to healing through the listening to, and telling of, stories that is based in Indigenous cultural and spiritual practices (the We-Ali program). This book speaks to the wisdom of the elders, to the incredible strength of Indigenous peoples, and to the enduring power of women."

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