Listen as they tell us in their own words about the impacts caused by the removal of Indigenous children from their families.
Between 1998 and 2002, people from all over Australia told us their stories as part of the Bringing Them Home Oral History project.
This collection shares with us 340 intimate stories, in over 600 hours of recordings.
These are people directly affected by the laws and policies which created the Stolen Generations. These are the voices of:
- Indigenous people taken away from their families
- Indigenous people whose children were removed
- administrators, police officers, carers, missionaries and welfare workers.
These stories show us that everybody’s experience was unique, which is why these recordings are so valuable as a public record.
Listen to the stories
Where speakers have given permission, recordings and transcripts are available online through Trove and the Library catalogue. Sometimes you will need to get permission to listen, read, or get copies, but this is detailed in the records.
Other ways to access the stories
In some cases, you can order copies through the Library catalogue.
You can listen to some of the recordings that are not available online in the Library's Special Collections Reading Room.
Published in 2002, Many voices: reflections on experiences of Indigenous child separation, edited by Doreen Mellor and Anna Haebich, is based on these oral histories. Although now out of print, you can still read it in the Library’s reading rooms or purchase a digital reproduction through the Library catalogue.
The Bringing Them Home Oral History project ran from 1998 to 2002. The purpose of the project was to collect and preserve the stories of Indigenous people and others affected by or involved in the removal of Indigenous children from their families.
The project was established in response to the first recommendation of Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families.
A pilot project recorded 31 interviews between July 1998 and June 1999. The full-scale project recorded over 300 more interviews between July 1999 and June 2002.
More information about the project is available in our PANDORA archive.
- The Library has a long history of collecting oral histories from Australians giving us a feel for what life was like in the past from people who lived it.
- The Library's Indigenous collections preserve Indigenous history, experience, and culture in a variety of formats, including oral histories, photographs, maps, papers, and drawings.
- The Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants Oral History Project collected 200 recordings in the three years following the 2009 National Apology to Forgotten Australians and Child Migrants.