Letters from Alice

“A Special Kind of Healing” … that works – 11 October 2013

In Letters from Alice // 2013.10.11 //

Opening night at Mbantua Festival with first performance of the “Bungalow Song”…. story of the “half caste” children taken away from parents around the Central Desert to live at the old telegraph station …. a wonderful performance …. beautiful lighting using the verandah of the old building, its forecourt and surrounding desert to tell the story with old film footage and songs especially written …. sung and acted by a cast of very talented local children …. some grand and great grand children of those that were taken …. narrated by old people who had lived there as children …. the sadness and tragedy balanced by some hilarious moments and songs …. and an inspiring conclusion by Harold Furber who introduced more of the original children who had come back to Alice for this event….

…. When the bungalow closed they deliberately divided the children and sent them as far from the central desert and their families as possible …. Harold and others there that night had been sent to Croker Island off Arnhem land …. google the story of what happened to them there during the second world war!

So many Aboriginal people that night said to me what an extraordinarily healing event it had been …. not just for those that attended but all those hundreds contacted around Australia and realised that what happened to them was being recognised and remembered …. this is the kind of therapy that actually works …. (and ticks all the boxes in what we know about processing trauma) …. and yet we still have money wasted on endless therapy “sessions” done by white fellas ….

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