Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Rosie (2004)

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clip Reunited education content clip 3

This clip chosen to be PG

Clip description

Rosie is packing her bag to move out of the welfare house, and a young woman who is to take over her room is introduced to her. The young girl has the same last name as hers, Rosie asks her if she ever stayed at the Kelly’s. The girl says yes, and Rosie is reunited with her sister Beverley. The two girls go in search of their birth mother, but Rosie tells us that building a relationship with her natural mother has been difficult.

Curator’s notes

A poignant moment in the film when the sisters are reunited. The sisters then reunite with their natural mother – an Aboriginal woman, and Rosie’s account of being unable to forge a true mother-daughter relationship with her is a sad story. The complexity of abusive relationships, and Rosie’s need to have an ongoing mother-daughter relationship with Mrs Kelly, the woman who abused her throughout her childhood, makes this all the more heartbreaking. It seems Rosie can never be truly returned to her Aboriginal mother, as Rosie continues the role of daughter to her white foster mother.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This clip shows Rosie Fraser, a member of the Stolen Generations, talking about her life. She recalls meeting her sister Beverley for the first time since they were separated in early childhood. Photographs of Rosie’s wedding and of her four children are shown as Rosie explains that her uncertainty about her identity led her to search for and find her birth mother. Their tearful reunion is re-enacted, and Rosie talks about her continuing pain. She says it is still painful for her to talk about these issues.

Educational value points

  • Rosie describes the continuing effects on her life of being removed from her Indigenous family by the Western Australian Child Welfare Department in 1961 and made a ward of the state at the age of 2. Despite her awareness of her achievements in her own marriage and family, Rosie speaks about her ongoing struggle to come to terms with her feelings of loss, sadness and disconnection as a result of being removed from her family.
  • The clip highlights the emotional effects of separation on all family members by using close-ups of anguished faces and the sobbing of the mother and daughters when they are reunited. The pain is shared by each of them and Rosie says that the reunion does not remove the pain. She says that she and her mother ‘can never have a proper mother and daughter relationship’, although she cares very deeply for her mother. The image of a fence reflects the barrier Rosie describes.
  • The clip stresses the importance of identity in the life of a child who was removed. Rosie reflects on what she had achieved in her life by 1979, the year that she decided to search for her parents. She says that at the age of 21 she had already had four children and that the love, affection and trust within her marriage had grown. However, she says ‘part of me was still missing’. She says that her search for her parents was because she ‘wanted to know in some way who I was’.
  • Footage of a contemporary interview with Rosie Fraser is combined with re-enactments and photographs of past events to bring her story to life on the screen. The film’s director Debbie Carmody uses these techniques to allow the viewer to enter into Rosie’s world in an intimate way and through her story to better understand the experiences of the Stolen Generations. The film from which the clip is taken is called Rosie and relates to Rosalie Fraser’s book Shadow Child (1999).

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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