Topic: Indigenous

From stolen generation to stardom

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen
  • Australia

Uncle Jack Charles has gone from living on the streets of Melbourne to showcasing his talent on stages across the globe.

 "I have a passion to share the journey, to tweak their conscience,  to relight the burning embers of many a black fellas," says Charles.

Taken at four months old, put into foster care and treated like a criminal, Charles is part of Australia's aboriginal 'lost generation' and has come to New Zealand to shine a light in on the dark situation.

Charles says he was treated as a criminal from four months old, with his only crime being a child who needed care and attention.

Charles turned to a life of homelessness, drugs, and crime.

However. despite all odds he has used his experience to drive his passion. "I'm not allowed to let that become an impediment," says Charles, "I'm too passionate about following through and that's what we need.  It's an inherent obligation for the likes of myself- having succeeded in moving on from addiction, crime and homelessness."

Charles'  show takes the viewer on a journey of Australian history from an indigenous view.

"People walk away so heartened- not disheartened- they've witnessed a story of a person who's risen above the challenges, against the odds.  A reformed rehabilitated character=," says Charles.

Jack vs. The Crown will be shown at Q Theatre from Thursday the 15th, as part of the Auckland Arts Festival.