Guyula names kids he says are part of second stolen generation

Yingiya Mark Guyula


INDEPENDENT Member for Nhulunbuy Yingiya Mark Guyula has named nine children who heclaims have been taken from their families improperly by the Northern Territory Government. In Parliament on Thursday night, Mr Guyula said the children had been “forcibly removed from Yolngu country”. “Two are teenagers while the rest are young children. The family believes they are now in Darwin,” he said. “I want to say to these children, you are loved, you are Yolngu, you are Djapu, Wanguri, Marrangu, Liyagalawumirr, Gumatj. You are citizens of Yolngu nations. Your mother, father, uncle, grandfather, grandmother, father’s father, father’s mother did not give you away. You are not orphaned; there is no such thing in Yolngu society. There is always another kin that can care for you.”


In between speeches by other members about ovarian cancer awareness and the fortunes of local footy clubs, Mr Guyula made an impassioned address to the children.


“Know that your family fought for you. You were taken by force and they never wanted you to go. Your people and your nation did not want you to go. Your family and your nation are fighting for you now,” he said.


“We are sorry you have been stolen from us. We are sorry we could not do more. In the face of a system that threatens our existence, we are sorry we lost hope for a moment.


“Perhaps we should be braver. We want you back. Never believe you cannot come back. We are reaching out for you, and we will continue to fight for you.”

Earlier this week, Mr Guyula slammed the Territory government for contravening the principles of kinship care, in which efforts are supposed to be made to place children with carers within their community.


As of June last year, 89 per cent of NT children in out-of-home care were Aboriginal, of which only about one third were placed with indigenous carers.