THE STOLEN GENERATION
The Stolen Generation is a massive example of injustice. At the time, it was legally okay for the Indigenous children to be taken away from their families and communities, but morally it was so awfully wrong to pull Indigenous children away from their family, from their history and away from their ancestors. They were then left without a sense of belonging. We all know that the children were taken away, some forcibly but do we know why? Throughout the early 1900’s, Australia was led to believe that Aboriginal children were at risk in their own communities. The public believed, they were disadvantaged and would receive a better education and a more civilized upbringing in government institution or in adopted white families. In reality, the children were removed to be exposed to work habits, to then be employed by colonial settlers, and to stop their families and communities from passing on their culture and identity to them. To remove any child from their family is wrong, but to take Indigenous children away from their heritage and try to make them fit into non-Indigenous families was so immoral.
During the time of the 1800’s, the colonial authorities believed that a protection system was the best way to look after Indigenous Australians. Setting up special communities for them where they could farm the land and live off the produce was what they planned to do. In 1911, all states, except Tasmania, had given the Board of Protection control over indigenous people. Those children who were taken from their families and homes would become known as the ‘Stolen Generations’.
The Child Welfare Act
National sorry day is an annual event, held on the 26th of May, since 1998. This date carries great significance for the Stolen Generations, as well for the Aboriginal and Torres-Straight Islander communities as it’s to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the Indigenous Australians. It still today, reminds and raises awareness to us as a country and the politicians about the significance of the forcible removal policies and the impact it had on the children and their families and communities.