14 Sept, 2023

Stolen Generations Have New Place Of Reflection

The content of this media release is over six months old and may no longer be current.

Members of the Stolen Generations will now have a dedicated space in the city to reflect and connect, with a ‘Place of Reflection’, opening in Rymill Park / Murlawirrapurka today.

Located in the pocket park next to Tandanya in the city’s East End, the ‘Place of Reflection’ is a space for members of the Stolen Generations, as well as their family, friends, and the wider community to meet and support each other.

At the centre of the space is a bronze sculpture created by renowned Ngarrindjerri weaver Aunty Yvonne Koolmatrie and South Australian designer Karl Meyer.

The artwork expresses a life-size mother figure cradling her arms, the body posture, crossed legs and head suggesting the void left by a missing child.

The low seating suggests being close to the earth, while the landscaping includes native reeds and rushes, connecting to culture and rejuvenation.

Mounted in the centre of the site is a steel Coolamon on a circular black granite boulder to enable fire, smoking and ceremonial activities to happen at the memorial, which can be utilised for community cultural events, such as Sorry Day.

The entire space has been carefully designed and landscaped to highlight the important links between the natural world and cultural lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith said this was a particularly special space, to promote recovery and Reconciliation.

“The Place of Reflection will create a high-profile piece of public art in the city, which we hope will acknowledge the loss and help the healing process for members of the Stolen Generations, their families, friends and the wider community,” said the Lord Mayor.

“Importantly, it will give the community of people affected a dedicated and safe space to meet, reflect and support each other.

“The design is a powerful statement and I hope this memorial will start conversations to help educate future generations about the previous loss and ongoing pain of these practices.

“The Place of Reflection is another demonstration of the City of Adelaide’s commitment to Reconciliation and, being located next to Tandanya, it will further shape the identity of the city’s East End.”

The Place of Reflection was constructed over the past four months, following significant stakeholder engagement from several First Nations organisations, over the last few years.

The Place of Reflection was a $265,000 commitment joint funded by the City of Adelaide and the State Government.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher said the grief and loss experienced by members of the Stolen Generations, their families and communities has had a lasting and intergenerational impact that continues to this day.

“The Place of Reflection will be an important place of healing for all those who have been affected as well as provide a public acknowledgement of the pain and suffering Stolen Generation policies have caused, helping all South Australians move forward together,” said the Minister.

Artist Aunty Yvonne Koolmatrie said this is a place for the nation to participate and reflect on the past and understand the pain of the Stolen Generations.

“It's also a place for the stolen generation and for the future generations to heal and feel safe, where they can share stories, and feel together with the ones they lost or were taken away from,” said Aunty Yvonne.

For more information

Jack Berketa