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New NLA Indigenous curator highlights library’s oral history collection

Newly appointed National Library of Australia (NLA) Indigenous curator Rebecca Bateman has highlighted the library’s ‘Bringing Them Home’ oral history collection, which holds more than 300 spoken-word testimonies from both Indigenous people who were part of the Stolen Generation and administrators of the child-removal policy.

Following her appointment to the newly created role in December 2017, Bateman was given care of the collection, which contains a testimony from her mother, Judith Stubbs. Bateman has said she wants to make stories such as her mother’s more widely available.

Speaking to the ABC about the collection and the 10th anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generation, on 13 February, Bateman described the oral histories as an important historical record and a way to improve understanding: ‘While those misconceptions linger there’s never going to be a full, proper understanding between the entire community,’ she said.

Bateman previously worked at the National Archives and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

The ‘Bringing Them Home’ collection contains more than 300 oral histories given by survivors and administrators of the child-removal policy, collected between 1998 and 2002. A shorter follow-up series was made in 2010.

A selection of the oral histories can be listened to here.



Category: Library news