Croker Island Exodus
Directed by Stephen McGregor (2011)
Prior to watching this documentary, I had no idea Japanese bombers attacked northern Australia 97 times during World War II.* This film reenacts the evacuation of 95 Aboriginal children from Croker Island during the bombing. Members of the “Stolen Generation,” the mixed race children were forcibly removed from their mothers to be raised in Christian missionary schools. Claiming the practice would facilitate assimilation, the Australian government continued to kidnap mixed race children until 1970.
The filmmakers also interview three of the surviving children as they reminisce about their separation from their families and their 42 day journey from Croker Island to Sydney.
Darwin was evacuated (except for essential services) in 1941, shortly before the first Japanese bombing raid. The three missionary sisters running the Croker Island school had the option to evacuate but chose to remain with their students.
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