Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Stolen Generations Memorial Walk

Home > Sydney > Free | Memorials | Nature | Outdoor | Walks
by Rota (subscribe)
Still out and about
Published April 14th 2015
A meaningful journey
The term "Stolen Generation" is used to refer to the thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were forcefully taken from their families in the 1900's and possibly even earlier. These years mark a bleak and painful episode in Australia's history, and many people still live with the after-effects of what happened to them during that time. In the Australian Botanic Gardens in Mount Annan, there is a memorial walk that acknowledges those affected.

stolen generations monument, mount annan, the australian botanic garden, campbelltown, macarthur
The Stolen Generations Memorial

The walk begins with a bridge that takes you from the roadside, over swampland, and into the bush.


You will find yourself on a flat dirt path. On either side there are plaques on the ground with quotes from people of the Stolen Generation. Here is one of the more poignant statements I read:

'There are still a lot of unresolved issues within me. One of the biggest ones is I can't really love anyone no more. I'm sick of being hurt. Every time I used to get close to anyone they were just taken away from me'.

stolen generations monument, walk, mount annan, the australian botanic garden, campbelltown, macarthur
Words from the Stolen Generation line the path

As you walk further into the woodland you are surrounded by the sounds of the bush. A boardwalk takes you over marshes and a seat thereon allows you to sit and appreciate the surrounds.


Ahead, in a clearing in the bush you will find the Stolen Generations monument, carved in Hawkesbury sandstone. It depicts a family, and at the base of the monument there are two sets of footprints those of an adult and those of a child. A board at the sight explains the significance of this. The small footprints represent the child being taken from it's family, while the large ones represent the grown adult coming back to find his or her roots.

stolen generations monument, walk, mount annan, the australian botanic garden, campbelltown, macarthur
The memorial, stone footprints and the symbolic rear of the sculpture

The back panel of the monument depicts a thundercloud and rain called up by the Rainbow Serpent, who is distraught over the pain caused to his people. A water feature makes up part of the memorial as well. It was created to represent the tears of sorrow shed by those of the Stolen Generation.

stolen generations monument, walk, mount annan, the australian botanic garden, campbelltown, macarthur
A meaningful interactive experience

Visitors are invited to scoop up water, trickle it over the sculpture, and imagine the experiences of the Stolen Generation - and in doing so realise the importance of making Australia a place for peace and healing.

stolen generations monument, walk, mount annan, the australian botanic garden, campbelltown, macarthur
A seat at the monument

Continue the walk through the bush over more boardwalk and a small stream. Take a moment to observe some of the species that make up the bush here. It is comprised mostly of Cumberland Plain Woodland - a critically endangered type of bush land here in Sydney.

stolen generations monument, walk, mount annan, the australian botanic garden, campbelltown, macarthur
Spot Forest Red Gums and Narrow-Leaved Iron Barks

The walk exits at the entry to the Australian PlantBank and you can continue your tour of the Australian Botanic Garden from here, or retrace your steps.

stolen generations monument, walk, mount annan, the australian botanic garden, campbelltown, macarthur
The Australian Plant Bank

I don't exaggerate when I say that this walk is a moving experience. It's quiet location allows for powerful reflection on the value of the family unit in our society, and the importance of showing respect towards all people.

Up until the sculpture, the site is wheelchair accessible, but not beyond that point. Easily find the entry to the walk marked by a signboard on your left as you drive into the centre of the gardens.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  117
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Take a walk through woodlands to a beautiful memorial
When: Open Daily, except for Christmas Day. Opening Hours: 8 am to 7 pm (during daylight saving), 8 am to 5 pm (all other times)
Where: Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan, NSW
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Congratulations getting gold.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12388) 1518 days ago
beautiful thank you so much for this article well done definately on my to do list
by Anne Dignam (score: 2|870) 1527 days ago
This is a really well written article. It is really respectful of the Stolen Generation and very thoughtfully written and presented. Well done Rota. It sounds like a truly beautiful place to visit and to reflect on family and on the people of the Stolen Generation.
by CassandraJoy (score: 3|1021) 1171 days ago
Congratulations getting gold.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12388) 1518 days ago
Thank you for preserving you heritage and culture so well.It is an example that we need to follow in India.I hope we can.
by Bhall (score: 1|12) 1524 days ago
More Sydney articles
Articles from other cities
Featured
Foodi Photoh Classie
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions