Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Apology - posters

I put together three simple posters with Microsoft Publisher, a quote on each, a line border and a script font in a small box in the bottom right, with the word sorry... in it.

The three quotes represent three points of view.

The Inga Clendinnen quote, an historian's view:

“….with no legal process at all, in clear violation of the common-law rights of children and of parents … with no inquiry into their actual physical and emotional care, on the authority of a public servant's signature on a form, and with no appeal, children were grabbed, transported and set down again, sometimes with white foster families, more often in institutions, in conditions of acute loneliness and emotional and often physical deprivation, and immured for years until they were released to serve the white world as cheap labour.”
From an account
by historian Inga Clendinnen

This quote from Us Taken Away Kids, from Alec Kruger, who was taken:

"As a child I had no mother’s arms to hold me. No father to lead me into the world. Us taken- away kids only had each other. All of us damaged and too young to know what to do. We had strangers standing over us. Some were nice and did the best they could. But many were just cruel nasty types. We were flogged often. We learnt to shut up and keep our eyes to the ground, for fear of being singled out and punished. We lived in dread of being sent away again where we could be even worse off. Many of us grew up hard and tough. Others were explosive and angry. A lot grew up just struggling to cope at all. They found their peace in other institutions or alcohol. Most of us learnt how to occupy a small space and avoid anything that looked like trouble. We had few ideas about relationships. No one showed us how to be lovers or parents. How to feel safe loving someone when that risked them being taken away and leaving us alone again. Everyone and everything we loved was taken away from us kids."
- Alec Kruger *
‘Us taken-away kids’, quotation taken from
Alec Kruger and Gerard Waterford,
Alone on the soaks, IAD Press, 2007.

And this quote from Kevin Rudd, then Leader of the Opposition, now Prime Minister:

“...simply saying that you’re sorry is such a powerful symbol.

Powerful not because it represents some expiation of guilt.

Powerful not because it represents any form of legal requirement.

But powerful simply because it restores respect.”

Kevin Rudd,
during the 2007 election campaign

Each faculty got a set of three posters photocopied on A3 paper, they're going on the school day sheet and teachers have been invited to ask for a set for their classroom if they wish. There's a pile of information about: this is an attempt to put three simple, shorter pieces of text into the learning environment, to help students understand this historic event.

15 Feb: I emailed a .pdf of these posters to the NSWTL list, so if you're on it, you can retrieve them from the email or the archives.

1 comment:

Therin of Andor said...

Great work, Ruth!

Jackie H. mentioned these to me yesterday, and also that you had a T-L blog, so I was pleased to see the message on nswtl listserv this morning!

Regards, Ian McLean