Oral History Project

Sudanese people in the Sutherland Shire - a moving community, oral history project





Sudanese people in the Sutherland Shire - a moving community
records the outstanding combined community efforts of people in the Sutherland Shire to support Sudanese people who settled in the area. Oral histories of people from the Sudanese community and people who have assisted them from Caringbah Anglican Church, Gymea Community Aid Information Service, Sutherland Shire Council and TAFE NSW Sutherland College are recorded. The oral history project not only records community history in Australia but records for posterity recollections of life in Africa, the Dinka language and images.

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.....................................................The Sutherland Shire embraces Sudanese refugees at Sutherland Library, June 25, 2011.



Watch the video to get an overview of the project.
Double click on the video screen to make it full size.


AJANG BIAR..........SUDANESE COMMUNITY LEADER

Ajang gives an authoritive overview of the contributions made by Sudanese people to Australian society and fascinating insights into the refugee experience...
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GAYE DORAN..........CARINGBAH ANGLICAN CHURCH

Gaye Doran has been an enormous and practical support to local Sudanese people who have become much loved friends...
Gaye_for_DS.jpgIn this short interview Gaye talks about the importance of photographs...

HOMEWORK CLUB..........ALLYSON BLAKE, JUDY CAMERON, SUE HALL, JUDY LUMB

Homework Club helpers have consistently given weekly academic support to Sudanese and other school children from Kindergarten to Year 12 for many years...
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Judy Cameron
Allyson Blake recalls stories of what school was like in refugee camps...

JANELLE LEWIS..........TAFE NSW SUTHERLAND COLLEGE

Janelle sourced Australian government funding to establish specific classes for Sudanese new arrivals...
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JANICE and JAMES ACKLAND..........CARINGBAH ANGLICAN CHURCH

Janice and James have befriended the Sudanese community and provided practical help...

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JENNY GREY..........GYMEA COMMUNITY AID INFORMATION SERVICE

Jenny supports Sudanese people through her work in resettlement and by coordinating help in the wider community...
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JOSEPH KUAI GAI..........SUDANESE COMMUNITY

Joseph works seven days a week and has seven children. He comprehensively explains what life was like in a refugee camp...

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KAREN NEYLON..........TAFE NSW SUTHERLAND COLLEGE


Karen describes the Learner Support she gave to Sudanese students studying vocational courses and the excellent outcomes...


MARTHA ANGETH DAU..........SUDANESE COMMUNITY

Martha has chosen to allow her full oral history recording to be available for research purposes so please contact the oral historian for access. Please listen to Martha's sound bite on her recurring nightmare and read her personal narrative, Houses of Tin and Grass...

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Houses of tin and grass - a story Martha wrote when she was a student at Sutherland TAFE.

MARTHA DAU..........SUDANESE COMMUNITY

Martha bravely gave this oral history interview nursing a baby and without an interpretor; nonetheless she vividly describes what it was like to walk from Sudan to Ethiopia before going to Kakuma, Kenya...
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RACHEL KAMICH..........STUDENT

Rachel's full recording...
Rachel was born in Sudan but spent most of her childhood in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Kakuma is the main refugee camp Australian humanitarian refugees live in before coming to Australia. For Rachel, Kakuma was relatively safe and the most stable and secure place she knew and home despite its terrible limitations. Like children everywhere she played games and made fun but daily life was a dreadful struggle for Rachel and her extended family. Food was always in short supply. Her description of the food she ate each day is poignant and very sad especially as the listener realises they are listening to the recollections of a child. Rachel is now in her early twenties.

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Breakfast, lunch and dinner...




RICHARD JOCK..........SUDANESE PASTOR, WESTERN SYDNEY

Richard was one of the first Sudanese people to live in the Sutherland Shire after he met and married a local girl he met in the Middle East...
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SHAREN FIFER..........CARINGBAH ANGLICAN CHURCH

Sharon assisted Sudanese people through her role as an Anglican Church minister's wife and as a Sutherland TAFE NSW Adult Basic Education teacher...

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STEPHEN FIFER..........CARINGBAH ANGLICAN CHURCH

Stephen discusses the enormous difficulties faced by new arrivals...

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SUTHERLAND SHIRE COUNCIL..........MAREE EVERITT


Maree talks about Sudanese community spirit and the support Sudanese people give to Sutherland Shire Council...
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Soundbites from the full oral history recordings


Soundbites are short audio extracts taken from a full oral history recording that highlight a particular aspect of the interview.

Community leader Ajang Biar talks about Homework Club and its importance to new and emerging communities and Australian born families.
50 seconds
Community leader Ajang Biar's integration vision.
28 seconds
Gaye Doran records her observations about Sudanese family values.
44 seconds
Gaye Doran talks about the burden and guilt of Sudanese families struggling to support loved ones living in Africa.
17 seconds
Gaye Doran talks about the significance of photos for Sudanese refugees.
1minute:24 seconds
Gaye Doran talks about DNA testing for African families wanting to reunite.
35 seconds
Judy talks about how Homework Club supported an HSC student wanting to become a nurse.
37 seconds
Judy speaks about the imortance of Homework Club, especially for Sudanese girls.
42 seconds
James Ackland explains what happened in response to an incident of racism.
32 seconds
Janelle Lewis, Head Teacher, explains the importance of specific classes set up by TAFE NSW Sutherland College for newly arrived Sudanese refugees.
30seconds
Jenny Grey explains why Sudanese families move out of the Sutherland Shire.
27 seconds
Joseph Gai explains what it means to be a breadwinner in Africa and Australia.
23 seconds
Joseph Gai talks about a game he played as a child, similar to Australian cricket but much more dangerous!
1 minute 26 seconds
Joseph Gai describes the lack of safety and living conditions In Kakuma refugee camp in Northern Kenya.
37 seconds
Karen Neylon, a teacher from Sutherland TAFE, describes the impact of the Learner Support she gave to Sudanese adult vocational students.
43 seconds
Rachel Kamich places the Kakuma refugee camp in context.
13 seconds
Pastor Richard Jock speaks about the challenges of building a new nation - South Sudan.
32 seconds
Sharen Fifer shows the capacity of Sudanese people to accept their situation.
42 seconds
Sharen Fifer describes the benefits of Sudanese people to the Sutherland Shire community.
14 seconds
Sharen remembers the possibility of crocodiles at Cronulla Beach!
1 minute 2 seconds
Reverend Stephen Fifer retells the story of Ajang Biar's bullet wounds.
45 seconds
Reverend Stephen Fifer talks about the remarkable strength of Sudanese Christian faith.
40 seconds
Reverend Stephen Fifer describes the support given by members of Caringbah Anglican Church and the everyday challenges of living in a new country.
39 seconds
Reverend Stephen Fifer talks about Southern Sudanese refugees and what they taught people about the refugee experience.
1 minute 6 seconds
Maree Everitt, representing Sutherland Shire Council, talks about the contributions made by Sudanese people to the Sutherland Shire community.
38 seconds


Oral history recordings in Dinka - interpreter Aduk Barec


DEBORAH (ADUAL) JANG AROK
AKUAL DAU DENG

ALAKIIR DENG BIAR

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Vox pops from the kids

Five Sudanese children from Homework Club participated in a workshop run by a professional radio presenter who showed them how to use field digital audio recording equipment and a digital SLR camera. For the vox pop recordings they were asked two questions - What is the best thing about living in the Sutherland Shire and what is your favourite family story from Africa. The children also experimented with interviewing each other. Children are not usually interviewed for oral history projects because of their limited life experience but Sudanese children have a valuable contribution to make because of their unique understanding and experiences.
Apajok (Year 11) retells her family's story of avoiding bullets while driving across the bridge to the airport after her family left Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, Africa, to come to Australia.
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Apajok's full vox pop.
Guy and Kut, two young Sudanese brothers retell a family story of loss about a pet goat and a cat with nine kittens.
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Attributions and Credits Poster_-_refugee_week.jpg


Project Committee... Ajang Biar, Jenny Grey, Carol McKirdy

Oral Historian... Carol McKirdy

Photographs...

Family, friends & colleagues
Junk Theory copyright Keith Saunders... Martha Dau with photo of husband, children jumping in group, Rachel Kamich - portrait
mongabay.com... Kakuma refugee camp

Interpreter...Aduk Barec


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This activity was funded by the Australian Government/Department of Immigration & Citizenship