Stolen Generation

Topics: Indigenous Australians, National Sorry Day, Stolen Generations Pages: 8 (1862 words) Published: May 12, 2014


Rachel Rossiter
University of Newcastle

Between the years 1909 and 1969 children were taken from their mothers/families at all times of day. Not just any child was taken, only children of Aboriginal status or children with a little bit of Aboriginal status, half caste. “It is estimated that between 50,000 to 100,000 Indigenous children were taken from their families...” (Lecture). The government had decided that the mothers/families that were Indigenous Aborigines were not fit for raising a family. The government wanted to breed out the Aboriginal people. From that they wanted to breed out all the Aboriginal people. These Aboriginal children were known as the Stolen Generation. The Stolen Generation was where tens of thousands of children were taken throughout the day and put into orphanages and other homes. They were put to work and the government attempted to eliminate the Aboriginal people. They wanted to wipe out the Aboriginal race which wold only leave Whites. “Under the White Australia and assimilation policies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were ‘not full blood’ were encouraged to become assimilated into the broader society so that eventually there would be no more Indigenous people left. At the time Indigenous people were seen as the inferior race” (Stolen Generations...). Even though the Stolen Generation lasted many decades it consisted of four main situations: the removal of the children, the bringing them home along with the impact it had on their lives, and the national apology.

Throughout the Stolen Generation the removal of the Aboriginal children happened every night. Mothers and their families were horrified at every moment knowing that their children might be taken away forever. Some mothers hide their children when they heard the government was coming into town. Children were being taken away at all hours. The government would raid a house to take away their children in the middle of the night. Children of all ages were taken. After the children were taken away from their families the government took them to different orphanages. One wonders how a government could do such a thing. “The removal policy was managed by the Aborginies Protection Board (APB). The APB was a government board established in 1909 with the power to remove children without parental consent and without a court order. Children could be put into an institution or mission dormitory, fostered or adopted” (Stolen Generation). Usually when the children were put into a children’s home when they were young would get adopted or fostered soon after. Some children were bought for work and became maids for the families; however, they got paid very little and never were commended for their hard work. According to the Australian government website the children were expected to work at a very young age, they were only entitled to retain a small proportion of their meagre earnings as pocket money (Sorry Day...). Aunty Gloria Smith was taken by the police when she was twelve years old. She was immediately sent to Sydney to work. She claims she will never forget the names of who she worked for, Mrs. and Mr. Slander and their two daughters. She was a maid for the house, but they never appreciated the work she would do for them. Aunty viewed it as slavery. She did not get paid for her work. Her older sister came to help her escape and she never went back, even though the police tried to take her back. Aunty Gloria is just one of many cases. Each and every individual that had been part of the Stolen Generation has a different story, no two are alike. During this time the boys and girls had different roles. Boys were sent to places like the Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Home and girls were sent to places like the Cootamundra Home. In the boy’s home the boys were often beat and put into cages like animals. One story of an Kinchela Inmate was “The bashing that I copped from the from the...

References: Lecture Notes: Week 7-Stolen Generation
Sorry Day and the Stolen Generations - australia.gov.au. 2013. Sorry Day and the Stolen Generations - australia.gov.au. [ONLINE] Available at: http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/sorry-day-stolen-generations. [Accessed 10 May 2013].
Stolen Generations Fact Sheet. 2013. » Stolen Generations Fact Sheet. [ONLINE] Available at: http://reconciliaction.org.au/nsw/education-kit/stolen-generations/. [Accessed 10 May 2013].
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