This site was selected for inclusion in this research project, as one of the places of Ancestry, through my three-times-great grandmother Ann Randall, who was one of the first seven children to be placed in the BNI in 1823. It is also an important site for the regeneration of cultural storying, practice, knowledges, ceremony, and language, and as such is a site of caring for Dharug Ngurra.
The BNI site is a central place in Dharug storying. Before colonisation its importance was founded in its location on the area now called the Cumberland Plains. It received its current name due to its history as part of the commencement of the removal of Dharug and other Indigenous children from their families, under the authority of Governor Lachlan Macquarie, in an attempt to “civilize” them, at both the Parramatta Native Institution and the Blacktown Native. These efforts were later to become known as ‘The Stolen Generations’ as they continued across the generations into current times.
On 13th October, 2018 after many cycles of effort, the BNI site has been returned to Dharug custodians many of whom are the descendants of some of the survivors of those taken children.
More information can be found at: https://dsmg.org.au