I don’t know yet how this will fully come together but as Ryan and I move closer to Australia, I would like to share with you some of the reasons why we’re moving there. This will most likely be a hodgepodge of different things but hopefully it will give you a bigger picture of our hearts for this country and the people.
The Stolen Generation- It’s exactly what it says. A whole generation of people who were taken forcefully from their families by government policy under the guise of protection and help. Although this is no longer an Australian policy, the wounds and scars from this are still very present in Australian society. Some of the people who we will be working with had family members taken from their homes or were taken themselves.
Back in 2012, I posted about a movie that shows one families heartbreaking story, Rabbit-Proof Fence. This movie gives some reality and weight to what otherwise could be pushed away and forgotten as history. Although the graphic above doesn’t constitute all white Australian sentiments, it does represent a painful reality. This is by no means something that is going to be easily resolved but it’s a part of the Australian history (recent history) that continues to impact people’s lives, often in very direct ways. Many children who were taken were never able to go back to their communities and lost their families as well as their cultural identity. If this sounds familiar, there are many parallels to the experiences of the Aboriginal community and the Native American community in the US.
Last week Yahoo news even had a small segment on The Stolen Generation. You can read the article and watch the video here: Yahoo News- The Stolen Generation.
Ryan and I will not be in Australia to make amends, remedy or even advocate for either side. Instead this is just one of the cultural realities we will be stepping into. We will seek to listen to and hear the stories. We will seek to keep our eyes open and understand this as one of the many events that has woven itself into Australia’s fabric. And among other things we will pray for continued communication and awareness, forgiveness and reconciliation.