Uncle James Welsh
Uncle Michael James ‘Widdy’ Welsh, Number 36, is a Wongaibon man. The Wongaibon People are part of the Wailwan Nation which includes Coonamble in the Central Western Plains of New South Wales and is where Uncle Michael was born. He is a Stolen Generations survivor who at the age of eight was kidnapped from his mother. He, along with five other siblings were taken from his mother by the police and then further separated from each other. Only Uncle Michael and his brother Barry were kept together, both sent to Kinchela Boys Home. At Kinchela Boys Home (KBH), he was given the number 36 and his brother 17. They remained in KBH for five years. Uncle Michael went on to help establish some of the first Aboriginal organisations in Coonamble. He has been a member of the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation since 2009. He is employed as the KBH Peer Support Social and Emotional Wellbeing Worker and has held the position of Treasurer since 2011.
Uncle Michael is a member of The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Reference Committee which guides The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations work, ensuring it meets the unique needs of Stolen Generations survivors and their families. Uncle Michael passionately believes in making sure his pain stops with him and is fighting to stem the intergenerational trauma in his family by restoring his family structure. He and other Stolen Generations are focused on truth telling to ensure these acts of genocide are not forgotten and so to ensure the policies inflicted on him, his siblings and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children are never repeated.