A member of the Stolen Generation, Jack Charles was taken from his family as a youngster and raised in a boys’ home where he was abused.
Now in his 70s, the treasured actor will share this and other heartbreaking stories, when he launches his memoir, Jack Charles: Born-Again Blakfella, at The J in Noosa.
Presented by Noosa Library Service, the August 21 event will leave audiences both devastated and uplifted, says Library Programs Officer Liz Bleechmore.
“Many of us are familiar with Jack Charles the actor, but few would have heard the story of Jack Charles the cat burglar. This is a chance to hear an incredible life story.”
In his candid, heartbreaking and at times hilarious memoir, Charles reveals how assimilation robbed him of his Aboriginality and how loneliness and isolation saw him turn to drugs as a youngster.
His own experience being incarcerated 22 times is something he now draws on in his quest to help keep Indigenous youth out of detention centres.
“I will never forget how reconnecting to my culture helped me find my true path. I saw the blak light and, within that, saw my own presence,” Charles says.
As well as being a passionate advocate for indigenous youth, Jack Charles was named the 2016 VIC Senior Australian of the Year.
Acting may have helped establish him as one of Australia’s best-known personalities, but for Charles, it’s his role as an Aboriginal Elder that he is most proud of.
On the cusp of his 76th birthday, he’ll be joined in conversation with Annie Gaffney from ABC Sunshine Coast to recount his memoir and, in an intimate setting to a Noosa audience for one night only, tell the story of how he became a born-again Blakfella.