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Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC), a Caritas Australia partner, offers former Stolen Generations survivors the chance to heal after a childhood of suffering, and manage the intergenerational effects of their pain. Photo credit: Caritas Australia.

First Australians

We are committed to working in close partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations to support programs that focus on intergenerational healing, strengthening cultural identity and spirituality, livelihood opportunities, and advocacy. 

We base our work around the principle of subsidiaritySubsidiarity holds that the people best placed to make decisions are those who will be most affected by themSubsidiarity is one of the key principles of Catholic Social Teaching, which guides everything that we do. 

Australia has a long history of making decisions for First Australian communities, rather than upholding their right to decide for themselves. This history has had deep and long-lasting effects on First Australians, as well as Australia as a whole.

There are glaring inequalities between the general population and those who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. These inequalities include, but are not exclusive to, lower life expectancies, poorer health, higher infant and maternal mortality rates, financial hardship and ongoing psychological trauma from the dispossession of their land and policies that resulted in the Stolen Generation.   

Tom holds red dust near his home town of Narromine, Australia, 2019. Tom is the founder of Red Dust Healing, a specific cultural healing program written from an Indigenous perspective. It aims to engage Indigenous men, women and families to recognise and confront problems, hurt and anger in their lives, stemming primarily from rejection and grief. Photo credit: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia.
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Tom holds red dust near his home town of Narromine, Australia, 2019. Tom is the founder of Red Dust Healing, a specific cultural healing program written from an Indigenous perspective. It aims to engage Indigenous men, women and families to recognise and confront problems, hurt and anger in their lives, stemming primarily from rejection and grief. Photo credit: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia.

50 years

We have been working alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities since 1972.

7 programs

We currently support 7 programs through 6 local partners in Australia.

Led by First Australians

We support programs in Australia that are designed and led by First Australians.

Photo: Patrice Moriarty/Caritas Australia.
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Photo: Patrice Moriarty/Caritas Australia.

Working with First Australian's

We have been working in partnership with the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) since 2013 to reconnect the Aboriginal men who were forcibly removed from their families and placed in Kinchela Boys Home between 1924-1970, and to restore and reconstruct their identity, dignity and integrity. 

Our work with the KBHAC has: 

  • Produced invaluable healing activities, workshops and counselling to 69 Aboriginal men who survived KBH, and nearly 300 of their descendants. 
  • Leaders have provided education sessions for the wider community, to share their stories and history. 
  • Secured aged care for many survivors. 
  • Formed an advisory committee to the NSW government. 
  • Produced a short, animated film called ‘We were just little boys’ that’s narrated by survivors. 

What have we done to promote subsidiarity for First Australians? 

We have worked in partnership with our First Australian partners to develop and/or commit to a number of statements, including the: 

Joint Statement on Subsidiarity 

We worked with our First Australian partners to produce a Joint Statement on Subsidiarity. You can read or download the statement here. 

"Self-determination, pride and self-respect are the banks of the river through which the waters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life flows." - NATSICC (2016) 

Uluru Statement from the Heart 

We're proud to support the landmark Uluru Statement from the Heart. You can read or listen to the statement here.  

"When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish." - Uluru Statement from the Heart (2017) 

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