Between 1910-1970 up to 100,000 aboriginal children were taken forcibly from their homes and families, by police or welfare officers. These children were known as the ‘stolen generation’. The novel Home, by Larissa Behrendt puts a human face on the stolen generation by illustrating the acts perpetrated against them. In the novel home, this is delivered through the story of Garibooli and her family.
Most children of the stolen generation were raised in Church, or state institutions. Some were fostered or adopted by white parents. Many of these children suffered physical and sexual abuse.
In relation to the novel, Garibooli was forcibly taken away from her home, the place where the rivers meet, to live with the Howard’s. Garibooli’s removal from her family and home represents the forced separation of aboriginal families when government policies determined that the children should be “trained” as servants for European Australians. The Aborigines Protection Board believed they were doing the right thing for these children by breeding out the native side of their culture. A regular occurrence during the early 1900’s to the 1970’s was the removal of native culture and names. The children once removed from their home, were unable to go by their own names and were punished if heard speaking their native language. Garibooli’s name was significant as it meant whirlwind in their culture. In the novel, both Garibooli and her brother Euroke could no longer be identified by these names, their names had been taken away and replaced with Elizabeth and Sonny. Names are a symbolic thing in aboriginal culture so to have them taken away was very hard.
Garibooli was taken away to be a housemaid for the Howard’s like that of the stolen generation, it was here that she too fell victim to rape. Mr Howard paid nightly visits to her room and in result of this she fell pregnant. Once she gave birth her...