A wonderful “Back to Country” Reunion held in the East Kimberley saw more than 150 people gather at Wuggubun to celebrate the 90th Birthday of 1st Generation Stolen Generation member Mrs Biddy Trust.
Happy 90th Birthday Biddy. Photo: Mrs Biddy Trust Centre front and family
Back row Ian, Joyce Trust, Stephanie Hagan, Colleen Morris, Barry Trust, Liz Cox, Kerry-Anne Trust, Front: Biddy Trust and Graham Trust.
Many Stolen Generation people and their descendants came together for several days to be with Biddy and her family to celebrate. Most were amazed that Biddy stayed up into the wee hours of the morning talking and surrounded by family and friends.
KSGAC helped people living in the West Kimberley with transportation and accommodation and a bus of excited members and carers travelled more than 1000 kilometres to get to the small community of Wuggubun 40km south-west of Kununurra on the south-western side of Great Northern Highway.
The KSGAC bus and cars stopped several times so members could take in country and also visit loved ones graves along the way. During the reunion members also made it to Wyndham to sit with other Stolen Generation people. Not a precious moment was wasted.
Kimberley Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation Chairman Dr Mark Bin Bakar said the Back to Country Reunions are vital to Stolen Generation people’s wellbeing.
“It’s never to be underestimated, the strength that Kimberley Stolen Generation people gain as they travel back to country to see people and family who they have shared so much with in their early years and then right throughout their life.” Said Mr Bin Bakar.
“Biddy is a 1st Generation Stolen Generation elder and we were honoured to be with this beautiful welcoming person who has so much kindness for everyone. It was so good to see Biddy’s family surrounding her and the many people who are connected to her right across the Kimberley. There were many descendants too. Some of our members had grandchildren as carers and there is so much they will get out of this experience.” He said.
Photo: Biddy Trust celebrates with family and friends
“History, connections, a sense of place, to know how people are connected and to feel the country, it helps us more than words can explain. It’s belonging, that everything feels right. People like Biddy show us what peace there is in being in the bush, to live a good life and a full one with her family.”
“The community of Wuggubun is strong. The time spent there was full of stories and laughter, dancing and good food. Our members were given accommodation at Wuggubun and we are very grateful for the chance to spend time with Biddy and her extended family.”
Photo: KSGAC Team with Stolen Generation members and descendants on the road to Wuggubun
“These events are so important and it is also very sad when we notice the missing faces of those who have gone since the last reunion. This is the time when the Stolen Generation Elders come together and heal each other through telling stories, connecting families and just enjoying each other’s company.“
Photo: Freda Cox, Daisy Howard, John Ross, John Cooper and Mary Ross on the Back to Country Reunion
“This healing is more appropriate to their needs and has a long lasting effect on their social and emotional well-being. The knowledge and history that these elders have can often surpass any record keeping institution so we must extract and record as much of this as possible.” Said KSGAC Chairman Mark Bin Bakar.
Best 90th Birthday wishes to you Mrs Biddy Trust, surrounded by so many who love you.
Above: 1st Generation Stolen elders glad to be with each-other and family
To Wuggubun and everywhere in between.
Photo: Hello Country- Back to Country Reunion-being together brings joy.
Photo: Wuggubun -Spring Country.
Photo:KSGAC Chairman Mark Bin Bakar, Mrs Biddy Trust, Edna McMahon, Sam Lovell & CEO Tania Bin Bakar
KSGAC sincerely thanks Biddy and her family for their hospitality during the Back to Country reunion at Wuggubun. What a special time.