|INSPIRATION FROM THE ELDERS - TRANSITION
Aborigine Elder Uncle Bob Randall
During my first journey to Australia in 1991, I took part in many national television programs about my
research and my interest in seeking contact with native peoples around the world. After each show I
received many suggestions that while I was in the outback I should try to meet the Aboriginal elder, Bob
Randall (affectionately known as Uncle), Neville Bonner and Shaman Peter Moore. I managed to track
down Peter Moore and spent time with him testing dowsing on an ancient Bora Ring. Bob Randall though
was not reachable then.
In an extraordinary turn of events, nineteen years later I received a phone call from Sarah and Pete
Onofrio, friends who live just a couple of miles from my home, the eastern side of the Valley seen from our
kitchen window. They had Bob and his wife Sarah coming for dinner and would we care to join them.
Following the musical compositions from the man who stood the ground for the Lost Generation of
children of which he was one and the man who took on the Australian Government head on and
eventually obtained the first public apology for what the government had done - The government's 'sorry'
and what it meant along with the future filled my discussion with Bob the other night.
More coming soon in my article The Future and The Elders.
The Stolen Generation
|We are your children, we are your future.
|Colin Andrews eventually meets Uncle Bob Randall with his wife Barbara -
Copyright: Colin Andrews
|Bob Randall's Biography from Wikipedia.
WARNING: Wikipedia often engage editors with specific agenda's which result in distorted history.
He spent some time on Elcho Island and other places in the Northern Territory. At age seven, Bob was
removed from his family in the vicinity of Uluru and taken to Alice Springs.
Later he created the first Aboriginal Centre at the University of Wollongong, south of Sydney. He then
moved to the Australian National University in Canberra to create a similar Centre called the Jabal Centre
at the ANU in Canberra.
He has returned to Central Australia. He is a member of the Luritja Tribe from the Western End of the
In 2006, Bob's life became the subject of the documentary Kanyini.
Uncle Bob Randall was born around 1927 in the bush of the Central Desert region of the Northern
Territory (NT), Australia. He is a“Tjilpi” (special teaching uncle) of the Yankunytjatjara Nation and one of
the listed traditional keepers of the great monolith, Uluru. At about age 7, Bob was taken away from his
mother and family under government policy which forcibly removed all half-caste (half-Aboriginal) children
from their families.
He was one of thousands of Aboriginal children who were placed in institutions throughout Australia and
came to be known as the “Stolen Generation.” Like so many, he grew up alone, away from his family, and
never saw his mother again. He was taken to a receiving home for indigenous children in Alice Springs,
NT, then later was moved to Croker Island Reservation in Arnhem Land where he, like the other children,
was given a new identity and birth date.
No records were kept of the Aboriginal nation, family name, or identity of the Aboriginal children who were
stolen. Young Bob was kept in government institutions until he was twenty when he, with new wife and
baby, was banished for questioning white authorities. He moved to Darwin and later to Adelaide,South
Australia, working, studying, and looking for his family and country of belonging. After many years of heart-
wrenching searches, he found his roots and returned to his mother’s country where he lives today at
Mutitjulu Community beside Uluru (Ayers Rock).
Throughout his life, Uncle Bob has worked as an educator and leader for equal rights of all living, land
rights and responsibility to the environment, Indigenous cultural awareness and preservation, and
community development. He established Croker Island Night and several organizations in Darwin including
the RRT Pony Club, Boxing Club, Folk Club, the Aboriginal Development Foundation. He worked as a
Counselor through the Methodist Uniting Church and led a country music band that serviced regional
Aboriginal communities. Later, Uncle Bob helped establish the Adelaide Community College for Aboriginal
people, served as the Director of the Australian Northern Territory Legal Aid Service, performed on stage
in “Child of the Night” and “Dream of Reconciliation” and established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Centers at Australian National University, University of Canberra, and University of Wollongong.
In the early 1970s, Uncle Bob earned widespread recognition for hissong, “My Brown Skin Baby, They
Take ‘Im Away,” which focused national and international attention on the issues of the Stolen Generation.
This song exposed the government’s policy of stealing Aboriginal children and opened the door for
indigenous story songwriters throughout Australia. It led to the filming of a documentary by the same
name that won the Bronze Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and subsequently, the Australian government
stopped taking children awa from their families. His lifelong efforts to retain Aboriginal culture and restore
equal rights for all living were recognized in 1999 when he was named Indigenous Person of the Year. In
2004, Uncle Bob Randall was inducted into the NT Indigenous Music Hall of Fame, recognizing the
historical significance of his classic story songs, "My Brown Skin Baby, They Take ‘Im Away" and "Red
Sun, Black Moon." Uncle Bob has authored four books, including his autobiography, SONGMAN, and 3
books for children: TRACKER TJUGINJI, STORIES FROM COUNTRY, and NYUNTU NINTI He contributed
his personal story of being stolen to the anthology, STORIES OF BELONGING: FINDING WHERE YOUR
TRUE SELF LIVES, edited by Kelly Wendorf, published in 2009.
In 2006, Uncle Bob co-produced and narrated the award-winning documentary, “Kanyini.” “Kanyini” was
voted "best documentary" at the London Australian Film Festival 2007, winner of the “Inside Film
Independent Spirit Award”, and winner of the Discovery Channel Best Documentary Award in 2006. Uncle
Bob continues to write and teach throughout the world, presenting teachings based on the Anangu
(central desert Aboriginal nation) “Kanyini” principles of caring for the environment and each other with
unconditional love and responsibility. His tireless dedication calls indigenous people to reclaim their
Aboriginal identities and re-gain lives of purpose, so that the relevance of ancient wisdom to modern living
is understood. Uncle Bob Randall is a living bridge between cultures and between world nations, creating
lines of understanding so that indigenous and non-indigenous people can live and learn together, heal
the past through shared experience in the present, sharing a way of being that allows us, once again, to
live in oneness and harmony with each other and all things.
Full bio HERE
"We don't cry anymore, there are no more tears to fall....................Broken hearts when our
families fell apart.......makes us think we are not wanted anymore.....Not knowing what we
did......didnt anybody care. WE ARE YOUR CHILDREN, WE ARE YOUR FUTURE".
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's says sorry to the Stolen Generation in the Australian Parliament
Select image to watch
|Our children inspire us and we must do the same for them
|Our children inspire us and we
must do the same for them