Kayleen Manton will never forget her first few days at the Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship (AEF) College in Cootamundra, known as Bimbadeen.
She came straight to Bimbadeen in 1982 from her home in far north Queensland, in the middle of a bitterly cold southern winter.
"My feet froze," she remembers, "I couldn't walk - my legs felt like elephant's legs".
But the college has had many warm memories for Mrs Manton - she met her husband Rick there, he proposed to her there, and the couple's children and grandchildren have enjoyed coming there to attend bible classes, pastoral training and camps.
"We've been here for 41 years and there was always something about coming here," Kayleen says.
"It's a very peaceful and serene place, and we want to thank the Cootamundra people who've supported Bimbadeen over all those years - there've been a lot of them who've had a lot to do with Bimbadeen."
Mrs Manton contacted the Herald to let the Cootamundra community know that after 41 years the AEF College will be departing Cootamundra.
At the end of September, the College will hand the keys of Bimbadeen to the Aboriginal Land Council at Young, who are the holders of the title deeds for the property.
"We're closing up in Cootamundra because we want the Cootamundra Girls to have full access to the place," she explained.
"We're packing up all our stuff and taking it to storage in Sydney, where we live - we don't know where we'll go next but we're praying the Lord will give us a location somewhere because we're still operating as a training college."
The "Cootamundra Girls" are the Aboriginal girls who used to live at Bimbadeen when it was the Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls' Training Home.
Mostly now in their 70s and 80s now, they've shown awesome resilience in organising a huge reunion which was to have taken place in Cootamundra this summer.
Due to covid, the reunion has been postponed until an appropriate time next year, yet to be fixed.
The gathering has been organised by the Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation (CGAC), which consists of the surviving girls stolen from their families in NSW over decades.
Thousands of girls were compelled to live at Bimbadeen, where they were trained to work as domestic servants for white families, mostly on farming properties.
The reunion being planned is intended to include not only the girls themselves, but siblings, carers, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Organiser Fay Moseley said today there would be discussions at a meeting soon about what would be happening with Bimbadeen and what CGAC's input would be.
Ms Moseley said CGAC had received funding from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs to cover the cost of the reunion and several forums around the state designed to get in touch with former residents and let them know about the plans.
"It's a family reunion, we're going to bring our children and our grandchildren.
"A lot of us never spoke to our kids about our upbringing, and they're shocked to hear about it even though they're all grown up with kids of their own."
Ms Moseley said the forums had resulted in a larger membership of CGAC, with all members looking forward to the reunion.
She said the forced removal of Aboriginal children had had a terrible impact on the Aboriginal community.
"There were thousands of children taken away and growing up in homes.
"All we did was clean, we weren't even allowed to get an education and most of us were put out on farms to work.
"A lot of our children are shocked when they hear some of the stories so this is a way of getting them together so they're supporting each other.
"If they're able to understand some of the issues and abuse and traumas that we went through it might encourage them to look at their problems as they go through the traumas."
Anyone interested in attending can find out more at https://www.cootagirls. org.au/ or phone Aunty Janet Smith at 0448 776 862.