Uncle Jack Charles – The life and legacy of First Nations Elder, Actor and Musician Uncle Jack Charles

Episode 9

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Hosted by
Caroline Kell

Caroline Kell is a proud Mbarbrum women who was born and raised on Kulin Lands. She is the Founder and Managing Director of Blak Wattle Coaching and Consulting. Caroline is a Former Counsellor and Executive Director who is deeply passionate about the social emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In this episode, Caroline talks to Aboriginal Elder and *everyone’s* favourite Uncle – Uncle Jack Charles.

Jack has lived a colourful and creative life, which has seen him wear many (many) hats: actor, performer, activist and even Senior Victorian Australian of the Year. When asked however, Uncle Jack humbly defines himself as someone who ‘just wants to give back and share his love of performance, and stories’.

In this episode, Caroline and Jack have a raw and candid conversation about his life. Some major highlights include what it was like for Uncle Jack growing up in the sixties during Australia’s white assimilation policies, and how these policies ultimately led him to being removed from his family at the age of four, and later, wrongfully jailed.

They discuss how Uncle Jack unintentionally ‘fell into acting’ when being asked to appear in a Sidney Poiter film. They also discuss what it was like for Uncle Jack to finally discover his biological family, during a recently taped episode of SBS ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ and how this experience continues to inspire Jack to see greater truth telling and Aboriginal led education enshrined in the Australian school curriculum.

Uncle Jack is a truly remarkable man, an Aboriginal and Australian legend. And this is episode not to be missed.

To find out more about Uncle Jack visit him at Facebook. Jack’s latest creative muse alongside other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander great, Preppers airs November 10 2021, on ABC.

Disclaimer: This episode was taped in September during the depths of Melbourne’s gruelling lockdown. A week when Melbournians watched in horror as the streets were filled with violent riots. During a very surreal-once- in-a-blue-moon-earthquake.

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