SKHKAC is an Aboriginal Not-for-Profit, Charitable Status Stolen Generations organisation, who deliver a wide range of cultural healing programs to heal, empower and develop leadership in Sister Kates Home Kids and their families, other Stolen Generations groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and their children, and share cultural perspectives with the wider community.
Through a series of cultural healing, recovery and empowerment initiatives that enable for both capacity building and leadership across varying age groups, a significant outcome is a sense of place of belonging – a major element for Indigenous people’s cultural, social and emotional wellbeing. The programs are specifically designed to engage families at a multitude of levels to help strengthen self-esteem, confidence, resilience and capacity building for self-determination.
SKHKAC feel that by strengthening cultural identity and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will build stronger and empowered families as well as help to create cultural pathways for better future for all our families and their younger generations.
Kate Clutterbuck, better known as Sister Kate came to Australia in 1901 (year of Federation) as a nun of the Anglican order of Sisters of the Church. In 1903 she was instrumental in establishing the Parkerville Children’s Home in the foothills outside of Perth.
Parkerville was primarily set-up as a cottage-style place of care; with the intent to provide unwanted babies and children with a ‘home’ whose orientation leaned toward a family environment arrangement that children would not otherwise have access to in other childcare institutions.
On leaving the Parkerville Home, Sister Kate set about with the support of Ruth Lefroy and a number of women who supported Sister Kate’s vision, to establish another cottage-style Home specifically for Aboriginal children.
In 1934, Sister Kate with the aid of her supporters, moved to the newly established Sister Kate’s Children’s Orphanage in Queens Park.
Though Sister Kate received support for her idea of caring for Aboriginal children, and the concept was further supported by a range of advocates with good intent – in hindsight, the relationship between Sister Kate and A.O. Neville, the then Chief Protector of Aborigines with the Department of Native Affairs, was both co-dependent and conflicting in world views of the cultural and social needs surrounding Aboriginal children. This coupled with government policies of control over the lives of Aboriginal people, produced catastrophic consequences for our families now known as the Stolen Generations; a traumatised people still in trauma recovery from decades of denied human rights and incarceration.
Following the years of the established Sister Kate’s Children’s Home, Sister Kate progressed further with her advocacy in caring for ‘light coloured-skin’ children. Many Aboriginal children lived for nearly four decades in the care of authorised others (cottage parents), with limited or no contact with their parents, families, culture or countries.
As the world changed, so did various governance laws including the policies of the Native Welfare Department in the mid-1970s. The Home also changed its policies and the children were moved on to either their parents if still living, older family members, or to older siblings who had moved on from the Home in prior years.
In the early 2000s, a group of SK Home Kids headed by Sue Gordon, a Sister Kate Kid herself, lobbied the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) and the Uniting Church to have the two blocks of land (Lots 254 and 258 – Sister Kate’s Home site proper, and Lots 295 and 296 – the Bush Block) individually divested to both the Sister Kate’s Children’s 1934-1953 Aboriginal Corporation (SKCAC) and SKHKAC, to enable both groups to develop proposals to build on their land what was considered beneficial and in the interest of their members.
SKHKAC, supported by our members, have worked hard over the last decade to progress our Vision of building a Place of Healing on the bush block site in Queens Park.
SKHKAC is focused of empowering our young people, SK Homee Younger Generations succession plan is being built into policies and procedures of the Corporation as SKHKAC grow to further maturity, so to enable younger members to both seek employment within the Corporation, including various facilitating roles within the program and events staged for SK Homees and their families.
A major focus of the Succession Plan is to both promote and nurture professional capacity building in younger generations that will aid employment opportunities in the wider market. A further major consideration will be to provide training for members, including younger generations, to become Corporation Board members and to participate in the various stages of the Corporation’s development.
A snap shot of some of the service provider agencies, government departments, local government agencies, shire councils, educational facilities, after-school care operatives and Aboriginal and non-Indigenous organisations, academia and the general wider community; that SKHKAC have worked for/partnered with:
There are opportunities for volunteering, donations and corporate sponsorship. See the Support page for more.
For news and stories from Sister Kate’s Homees, go to stories.