Stolen Generations Give Back To The Australian People

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27th November 2009, 03:58pm - Views: 971

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MEDIA RELEASE       27. 11. 2009  

Stolen Generations give back to the Australian people

Saturday the 28th

November 2009 will mark the handover to the Australian

National Museum of the Albert Namatjira Painting “

Arreyonga Paddock, James


by the “Girls” who were previously residents of the Cootamundra

Aboriginal Girls Training Home.

This painting was presented by the artist to the “Girls” in 1957

and hung in the

main dormitory of the home until its closure in the early 1970s. It remained in the

custody of DoCS until May 1998 when it was handed back to the “Girls”

by the

then Minister of Community Services - Faye Lo Po.


that time


until June 2009

it was



safe keeping of NSW State

Archives waiting for

decision to be made by the “Girls”

as to where it should be

permanently displayed. 

A decision was made, that due to the painting’s historical significance, it would be

donated in perpetuity to the Australian National Museum for the benefit of all

Australians. A Deed of Assignment was signed between the Girls, the Museum

and Jenny Mason (the Director General of DoCS)

on the 6th of June 2009 at a

ceremony held at the State Archives.

Federal funding was made available through OATSIH to enable some of

the Girls to travel to Canberra for tomorrow’s handover ceremony, which is

being coordinated by the Stolen Generations Council of NSW/ACT and

Link-Up NSW. Additional funding was provided by Human Services –

Community Services (previously DoCS) to have prints made of the painting

to be given to all former residents of the home.

The NSW Minister of Community Services, Linda Burney said,

“this is a very

generous gift from the Cootamundra Girls for the benefit of all Australians.  The

girls' decision to donate this valuable and important painting by one of our

country's greatest artists to our national museum says much about their spirit and

courage despite the suffering they experienced as members of the stolen



Lola Edwards the Secretary of the Stolen Generations Council of NSW/ACT 


“I hope that this gift will not only help to heal some of the anguish


trauma that many of the Girls suffered through their removal from their families –

but that the gesture will help to build relationships between Aboriginal people and

all other Australians.” 

The painting conservatively valued at $80,000 dollars will be officially handed

over at 10am on Saturday


November 2009 at a ceremony to be held at the


For Media Comment

Lola Edwards - Secretary SGC – mobile 0406 089 314 

The Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (AbSec) is the

peak NSW Aboriginal organisation giving voice to and supporting children,

families and their communities within the social services sector.


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