The removal of Indigenous children from their families has increased at an exponential rate since Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered the apology to the ‘stolen generations’ in 2008.
Four Aboriginal grannies each face their own battle to challenge government policies to bring their grandkids home. Their grassroots actions spearhead a national conversation to curb skyrocketing rates of child removal.
Suellyn Tighe thought the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) would only remove children in extreme cases until her own grandchildren were taken in the middle of the night.
Jen Swan expected to continue to care for her grandchildren but she was deemed unsuitable by FACS, a shock not just to her but to her sister, Deb, who was, at the time, a FACS worker; Deb quit her job with the department after witnessing her sister’s experience.
Hazel Collins decided to take on the FACS system after her fourth grandchild was taken into state care. She started Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) as a response to the rising rates of child removal and along the way she has been joined by families across Australia in the battle to bring the kids home.
Together are not only taking on the system; they are changing it.
A film by Larissa Behrendt