Yesterday was a perfect Sydney winter’s day and we decided to visit Mount Annan Botanical Gardens. It’s one of my favourite places around Sydney and I though you might like to come along too. We wanted to visit the memorial to the stolen generations.
We asked the woman at the gate to give us directions and she told us that she, herself, was of aboriginal descent and had only found out three years before. She told us her grandmother had been stolen and that both she and her mother had been hidden when they were kids and they never knew why until three years ago. I can’t imagine how awful it would be to be a mother and have your child torn out of your arms and taken away, nor to be the child who was forcibly removed from his or her mother. It is a crime beyond belief and one that purported to be for the child’s benefit yet these children were terribly abused and suffered a great deal.
The memorial walk in the Gardens is marked by large stones with plaques inset with the words of people who were stolen children. If you click on the images you’ll get a larger one where you can easily read the words.
Despite the pain that is evident in these voices the walk and the memorial itself are a peaceful with a deep sense of healing. Here are some photos of the walk.
The memorial was carved out of local sandstone by aboriginal artist of the Paakantji people – Badger Bates – from Wilcannia in NSW.
After a little quite reflection and pouring water on the memorial as requested by the signs we made our way out through the woodland and came full circle back to our car.
It was a lovely walk and one I would recommend to anyone visiting Sydney.
I have some other photos we took of the magnificent views from the top of some of the hills in the gardens. Mount Annan is 60km south west of Sydney but from the top of the hills you can see all the way to the city – even the harbour bridge! I’ll try to post these tomorrow.