Jack Charles’ story of resilience and reconnection

Jack Charles' experience as a stolen child echoes the plight of Canada's own Indigenous people. This was made clear when he and director Rachael Maza were invited to speak at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa. "It's exactly the same story. It actually started so much earlier here." says Rachael. "The date that they had up on the wall was 1831. So that's another 50 to 100 years on top of this horrific policy that we had in Australia."

At seventy-two Jack Charles has survived abuse, addiction, prison and a childhood spent in an Australian institution. Far from being worn out from his battles Jack Charles is a passionate activist and he is driven to share his story through his play Jack Charles V The Crown. "It's just telling you my story, how I managed to come through.It covers the whole spectrum. Of a person raised institutionally, abused institutionally. But I don't harp upon it you know?"

For Jack, the visit to Wabano provided inspiration and new energy to take the award-winning model back to Melbourne as an example of how the Aboriginal community can create a culturally safe space for community health and outreach. As he begins his Canadian tour at the NAC, before heading to Vancouver and Calgary, 'Uncle Jack'' shows he’s not about to slow down any time soon.

Marnie Richardson's avatar
Marnie Richardson

Associate Producer, Digital Media Creation and Community Engagement / Productrice associée, Médias numériques et volet communautaire