David Spry shines a light on a dark part of Darwin’s history in Kingadong.
This intimate production is a Stolen Generations story of trauma and triumph shared through music, poetry, prose and images told through the eyes of Frank Spry and family. Frank Spry, firstborn child of a roving prospector from Melbourne who settled in the Territory and married a Marrithiyel/Marranunggu Indigenous woman, grew up with his sisters in Kingadong, traditional Country south of Darwin. After the death of their mother, the four small children were left in the care of their father in Darwin township. Facing the scrutiny of society’s harsh prejudices, the children were placed in the Retta Dixon Home, an institution for Aboriginal children with mixed heritage, a place that would later be exposed for abuse with a continuing cover up of the mistreatment that children suffered at the hands of their carers. As a survivor of the Stolen Generations, Frank was fortunate to still hold memories of his family and home, and his culture was not completely lost through displacement.
Frank, a lifetime musician, advocate for human rights and Indigenous Health tells funny, uplifting yet harrowing stories of his youth in this important story of resilience and human connection battling Government policy. Laced with voices and imagery from the past and filled with passionate songs written with his son David, Frank’s story celebrates the triumph of the years and successes that have carried the family through.
Writer & Performer Frank Spry
Writer & Performer David Spry
Poetry Bessy Spry
Performers Bessy Spry, Michael Spry & Ian Lewerissa
Producer Elizabeth Rogers
Photos Caro Macdonald, Elizabeth Rogers