The Stolen Children

Topics: Indigenous Australians, Cultural assimilation, Indigenous peoples Pages: 3 (740 words) Published: January 11, 2014

The Stolen Children

In Australia at the beginning of the 20th century there was a strong segregation of the native people of the land - the Aborigines - and the white people. They were though of as a constant nuisance, as many had an unwilling obduracy to adapt to the mainstream Australian society. They were looked upon as little more than slaves. When the Commonwealth Constitution was declared in 1901 it stated that “In reckoning the numbers of people…Aboriginal natives are not to be counted ”. It also said that The Commonwealth would legislate for all races except the Aboriginal people. The Aborigines were excluded from voting and had absolutely no status as citizens.

The mixed children was called “half-caste”, were half Aboriginal and half European.

In 1905 the Western Australia Aborigines Act was declared, making the Chief Protector the legal guardian of all Aboriginal and half-caste children. It was decided that the half-caste children should be assimilated into the Australian society. This lead to a large scale abduction of half-caste children, forcibly moving them from their parents. Some Aboriginal families even “blackned up” their children in an attempt to prevent them from being abducted.

The captured children were put into newly founded institutions or adopted by white families. They were called the Stolen Children. Most of them were exposed to abuse and beatings. Many of the children grew up without memories about their biological roots.

In 1909 The NSW Aborigines Protection Act is founded, establishing Aboriginal schools, excluding the Aboriginal and half-castes from public schools. The schools were of poor standards, the curriculums main focus being physical activities. More often than not, the teachers were uneducated. In addition to new schools, the act made it illegal for half-castes to live on reserves. In 1915 and in 1918 new amendments were added to the act, giving the Aborigines Protection Board the power to take...
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