From his home on The Block in Sydney's Redfern, one of the most contentious and misunderstood places in Australia, Bill Simon tells the truth about life in one of Australia's most terrible juvenile institutions, the notorious Kinchela Boys Home, where thousands of boys were warehoused and abused.
Stolen, beaten, deprived of his liberty and used as child labour, Bill Simon's was not a normal childhood. He was told his mother didn't want him, that he was 'the scum of the earth' and was locked up in the Kinchela Boys Home for eight years. His experiences there would shape his life forever. Bill Simon got angry, something which poisoned his life for the next two decades. A life of self abuse and crime finally saw him imprisoned. But Bill Simon has turned his life around and in Back on the Block, he hopes to help others to do the same.
These days Bill works on the other side of the bars, helping other members of the Stolen Generations find a voice and their place; finally putting their pain to rest. He works on the streets, in jails, in churches and his home in Redfern is a drop-in centre for anyone in need.
- 230mm x 155mm x 12mm
- Released May 2009
- ISBN 9780855756772
From the storyteller
Chapter 1: Beginnings
Chapter 2: Stolen
Chapter 3: Lost
Chapter 4: Finding A Way
About The Author
Bill Simon is a pastor who works on The Block in Sydney’s Redfern, assisting Aboriginal people and particularly fellow members of the Stolen Generations.
Des Montgomerie has worked with Indigenous outback communities and has also recorded many interviews with members of the Stolen Generations.
Jo Tuscano is a writer, editor, teacher, and presenter. She is a co-author of Back on the Block: Bill Simon’s Story. She writes both fiction and non-fiction. She has written on the Stolen Generations, youth justice issues and mandatory sentencing in the Northern Territory.
Jo has presented seminars to reconciliation groups and community groups and works with Indigenous authors to bring their stories into publication. Malpa, written by Christine Palmer, an Arrernte-Kaytete elder and Jo will be published next year. This book looks at the first years of activism in Alice Springs. This is Where You Have to Go, written with Lynda Holden, a Biripi woman, will also be published next year. This book looks at what happened to Lynda as a result of her son being forcibly adopted.
Jo’s two novels Under Andromeda and The River Child will be published next year. Jo has written courses on understanding literature through visual learning, which are featured in the courses from the imagineer.me organisation. This organisation explores the science of imagination and creativity and is underpinned by neuro-scientific research.
About The Cover
Cover images: Bill Simon ministering on The Block, Redfern, Sydney