In a wartime exodus, ninety-five Indigenous children and three missionary women fled Croker Island off the north-east coast of Arnhem Land and travelled 5000 kilometres by boat, foot, canoe, truck and rail to safety in Sydney.
Croker Island Exodus is a true story that weaves historical footage with interviews and re-enactments to paint a surprising and uplifting portrait of children who were part of the stolen generations and grew up on Croker Island Mission. The film is set in the Northern Territory during World War Two before and after the bombing of Darwin. The film is partly based on letters written by young 28-year-old missionary Margaret Somerville to her Sydney parents. The letters described the epic journey across Australia that she and the children completed and were published as a book, They Crossed a Continent.
Croker Island Exodus is told through first person eyewitness accounts as the now-elderly travellers recall their epic journey.
Croker Island Exodus is suitable for primary students in Year 6 and secondary students in Years 7–12. The film offers students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the past and present experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their identity, and the continuing value of their culture.
For students in Years 6–10, Croker Island Exodus has relevance to units of work in the learning areas of English and History and addresses the cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
For students in Years 11–12, Croker Island Exodus has relevance to units of work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Cultural Studies, English, Australian History, Media, and Religion and Society.
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