Rawul-Inyeri project will share stolen generation's stories through Murray Bridge High School students, Adelaide University researchers

The voices of the stolen generations will not be lost forever, thanks to a collaboration between historians, Murray Bridge High School students and community members.

Rawul-Inyeri, the project has been named, from Ngarrindjeri words meaning "belonging to time past".

Specifically, it will focus on the period between 1910 and 1970 when government policies led to many Aboriginal children being taken from their homelands and families, which school staff member Greg Carter said had deeply impacted Ngarrindjeri people.

"It left a deep legacy of hurt in terms of the loss of identity and history," he said at a project launch in Murray Bridge on September 5.

Community members with first-hand experience of forced removal will be asked to share their stories by talking about an artefact or object, and the ways in which their senses of identity and family relate to it.

The artefacts and snippets of the stories will eventually be presented as an exhibition, and the stories will be shared in classrooms for years to come.

The project would help Indigenous students understand their history and non-Indigenous students understand their classmates, Mr Carter said.

Another staff member, Cheryl Love, said the journey about to be undertaken was a very important one.

"We're very excited about this project, excited we'll be able to get the community involved," she said.

"It's really important for them to share what they'd like to share – they don't have to share all of their story, they can share part of their story.

"It's totally up to the community members."

Participants will have a chance to review transcripts of their interviews and strike any parts out if they choose.

Adelaide University researcher Katie Barclay and lecturer Jenni Caruso will ensure people's stories are collected in a professional way, as high-quality recordings, so they can be preserved for future generations.

They also plan to publish some of their findings in academic articles or book form.

"These stories should be part of our national history," Ms Barclay said.

"By writing the stories down, we'll give them the power to make change."

About 10 per cent of Murray Bridge High School's student population, 100 or so teenagers, identifies as Aboriginal.

Some are descendants of children who were forcibly removed, or families who were left behind; some staff members were themselves taken away in their youth.

  • Share your story: Contact Greg Carter or Cheryl Love at Murray Bridge High School on 8531 9500.

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