Ballarat Library launches Australian Indigenous Collection

FOR 60 years, “Uncle Murray” Harrison was traumatised by the memory of being locked in a dark room with a steel door.

When he was 10 years old, Mr Harrison was taken from his aunty and uncle and locked up by so-called welfare workers.

“I used to wake up in the middle of the night screaming. For me, that experience was soul-destroying,” he said.

Yesterday marked five years since the Federal Apology to the Stolen Generation and five years since Mr Harrison was finally able to move forward and forget his daunting past.

“I was there when Kevin Rudd made the apology and even though it was five years ago, to me it’s like yesterday,” he said.

“It was something I never thought I’d hear and it’s something I treasure very much. It meant that somebody really understood who we are and acknowledged that we are people.”

The Ballarat Central Library launched its Australian Indigenous Collection yesterday to mark the fifth anniversary of the apology.

City of Ballarat councillor Belinda Coates said the collection, which included books and DVDs, aimed to increase awareness about the indigenous community and its history.

“It’s an important resource not only for the Aboriginal community but for the broader community as well.”