Stuff the British Stole on ABC
Stuff the British Stole (image - ABC)

Tonight | Stuff the British Stole on ABC and ABC iview S2E4

Stuff the British Stole on ABC –  In 2022, a tattered and bruised black doll was sent from Britain to the First Nations people of lutruwita/Tasmania, carrying with it a devastating story of a stolen child.

Marc Fennell takes you from London to the mountain of kunanyi and the opulent halls of Government House to unravel a story of heartbreak and injustice that will leave you reeling.

From the early 1820s to about the mid-1830s, wars raged between the settlers and the Indigenous people of what we now call Tasmania. In the aftermath of this conflict, Sir John Franklin was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania’s former colonial name) in 1837 for a four-year term.

During his time in office, he and his wife, Lady Jane, requested an Aboriginal orphan child for their daughter.

Mathinna, an Indigenous child and daughter of a chieftain, was not an orphan, but she was still stolen and sent to live with the Franklins for four years.

However, just four months before his term as Governor was due to end, the Franklins abandoned Mathinna and left her at the orphan asylum in Hobart, taking her doll with them to England.

The story of Mathinna and her doll goes to the heart of one of the major injustices of colonisation—the forced removal of children and subsequent displacement. It portrays the tenderness of the girl’s connection to her doll and memories of her family, and the visceral sense of loss when it is taken. The loss of the doll symbolises the loss of innocence, displacement, and theft.

At the same time, Marc ventures to the UK to understand the Franklin family: Why did they want this girl in the first place? Was there ever a chance of taking the girl with them? Why did they abandon her? To understand the girl, we need to understand the family that took her in and ultimately abandoned her.

Production credit: An Australia-Canada co-production, Stuff the British Stole is co-produced by Wooden Horse, WildBear Entertainment and Cream Productions (Canada) for the ABC and CBC. Major production investment from Screen Australia. Financed with support from Rogers Cable Network Fund, the Government of Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Canada Media Fun, Screen NSW and VicScreen.

FremantleMedia will distribute the series world-wide.

Creator, Writer, Director and Executive Producer: Marc Fennell. Series Writer and Director: Stephanie Weimar.

Executive Producers: David Brady and Kate Harrison Karman (Cream Productions) Michael Tear (WildBear Entertainment); and Richard Finlayson and Jude Troy (Wooden Horse).

Series Producer: Kate Pappas. Producers: Alan Erson and Felicity Justrabo.

CBC Executive Director of Unscripted Content: Jennifer Dettman.

CBC Executive in Charge of Production, Unscripted Content: Nic Meloney.

ABC Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer: Kalita Corrigan. ABC Head of Factual: Susie Jones

Stuff The British Stole on ABC and ABC iview S2E4- Monday 8 July, 2024 at 8.00pm

Media Release – ABC

TV Central ABC content HERE

Stuff the British Stole on ABC
Marc Fennell (image – ABC)

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