Aunty Lindy Lawler and Archie Roach speak about the importance of sharing more stories about the Stolen Generation.

Elders meet Roach: Aunty Eileen Jenner, Aunty Lindy Lawler, Archie Roach and Uncle Richard Archibald. Picture: Sylvia Liber.
Elders meet Roach: Aunty Eileen Jenner, Aunty Lindy Lawler, Archie Roach and Uncle Richard Archibald. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

As a member of the Stolen Generation Aunty Lindy Lawler was placed in many homes as a child and had many experiences.

Now she wants more people to know about what happened to children like her and wants more of the stories to be told. That is why when she heard Archie Roach was coming to the Spiegeltent on Wednesday she was very keen to meet him.

“This is very important to people like me because I think people need to understand that we are survivors of the Stolen Generation,” Aunty Lindy said.

“I always listen to Uncle Archie’s music because it makes me stronger. And it is encouraging to other people who are survivors of the Stolen Generation. Uncle Archie’s songs are particularly important. I saw him at the Naidoc Awards last year but I didn’t get the chance to meet him.”

Aunty Lindy was named Aboriginal Elder of the Year at the Local Government Regional NAIDOC Awards in recognition of her outstanding community work. She has promoted Aboriginal culture though by voluntarily providing support to professional workers, organisations and community groups. She also actively promotes healing and connection and likes to share stories she sees as an important part of Australian history.

She wants to create opportunities for more people to listen to and believe the stories about the Stolen Generation and build greater understanding of the richness of Aboriginal history, culture and achievements. “It is important to us survivors. It helps our healing as well”.

Aunty Lindy is inspired by the way Roach delivers the message in a way that helps close the gaps. After Merrigong Theatre Company helped her meet him on Wednesday she sat in the audience. “It is very special to me to hear Uncle Archie”.

Roach said he not only wrote songs about the Stolen Generation but talked about it during his show. “Sharing the stories is part of what I do. I try and talk about healing as well. I tell the stories about the songs, what they are about and where they come from. They are inspired by my people and what they have gone through”.

Roach was aware of Merrigong Theatre Company’s program called Sharing Stories which will return to Wollongong Town Hall on June 2 as part of Reconciliation Week.

It is a celebration of culture and stories that in 2016 saw 60 young local Indigenous performers share their talents, creativity and identity on stage.

Sharing Stories is an intergenerational project where local elders share their stories with the younger generation, who are encouraged to creatively express them through dance, song, theatre, visual art and puppetry.

The heart-warming celebration of reconciliation is produced in association with Wollongong City Council.

“I heard all about what they are doing today and how they are working with the older people. It is important,” he said.