This week we are going to begin reading the novel, The Burnt Stick, by Anthony Hill. It is illustrated by Mark Sofilas. This book tells the story of an Aboriginal child who was taken away from his family by the Welfare authorities. This is a story that unfortunately was common place in the period of Australian history where part Aboriginal children were "stolen" from their families. This book was first released in 1994. It has been an outstanding book dealing with the topic of the stolen generation, which was the practice of forcibly removing part Aboriginal children from their homes to begin a "better" life, educated in the ways of the white man.
The practice of forced removals stopped in the 1970s. The “Bringing Them Home” report was commissioned in 1995 (one year after this book was written). In 2008 Kevin Rudd (Australia’s Prime Minister at the time) made an apology to these children and their families on behalf of all Australians – reasons for Sorry Day and NAIDOC Week.
In today's lesson we will be reading this story. It may take us a couple of lessons to do this.
As you read, there may be opportunities to stop and discuss something, particularly as it relates to what you have been learning in class.
This book has been illustrated thoughtfully by Mark Socials. As your teacher is reading, the illustrations will be displayed to you.