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The story of the children Conaci and Dirimera, who were spirited away to Europe by a Benedictine missionary, Rosendo Salvado, in the mid-nineteenth century to be trained as Australia’s first indigenous monks, is arguably the first, forgotten chapter of Australia’s Stolen Generations. It is the subject of Anouk Ride’s The Grand Experiment, a compelling though problematic book, where a number of the author’s charges can also be levelled at her.

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