Bennett Springs documentary star urges Stolen Generations to own their history

Bennett Springs documentary star urges Stolen Generations to own their history

BENNETT Springs resident Brianne Yarran has urged the Stolen Generations to own their history, after she made her Elders’ voices heard through a documentary aired across Australia.

The 18-year old, who graduated from Hampton Senior High School in 2016, released her documentary Owning Your History as an episode of National Indigenous TV (NITV)’s From The Western Frontier series on May 29.

Hampton SHS held a screening of the documentary, which was attended by Ms Yarran’s family, the Commissioner for Children and Young People and National Bringing Them Home committee members on May 30.

The documentary, written and directed by producer Kimberley Benjamin, focused on Ms Yarran’s three Nannas’ experience in the form of a dance routine.

Ms Yarran said Follow the Dream co-ordinator Libby Elphick and Ms Benjamin encouraged her to research her Elders’ past.

“My mum works at an aged care centre where a lot of Stolen Generations members go,” she said.

“She showed me these massive documents and there were so many letters from the government, the local police station in Kojonup, letters from my grandfather to the government, which asked for exemption from the Aboriginal Act 1905.

“I think this whole documentary has been a healing process as well as an educating process because it has enabled my Nannas to heal.”

Ms Yarran said her dance routine was split into two parts and featured many hand gestures.

“There is one bit where I cut my hair because that is an important story that my Nanna Edie told me, when the matron tried to cut her hair for being too long but stabbed her in the leg,” she said.

“Another was simple thing like keeping their mouth quiet and I would put my hand over my mouth.”

The Follow the Dream tutor said she wanted to continue inspiring young indigenous people to connect with their Elders.

“My Nannas told me the stories and it was heard by me as one individual but now it is heard by the rest of Australia and now everyone knows my name and story,” she said.

“I feel like you will become more content with yourself because you would know where you come from and hardships that your Elders have been through to get to where you are today.”

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