Presentation on theme: "The Stolen Generation. What do we know about Bimbadeen?"— Presentation transcript:
The Stolen Generation
What do we know about Bimbadeen?
Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls Training Home
The Stolen Generations: The Facts Removal of children was official government policy from 1909 to It was managed by the Aborigines Protection Board (APB). They placed children in government institutions and missions The APB had the power to remove the children without parental consent, and without a court order. The labelled the children ‘destitute’ and ‘neglected’. This made it easy to remove them from their families for their ‘moral’ and ‘spiritual’ welfare. They were not allowed to speak their Aboriginal language or have contact with full-blooded relatives. Those ‘not of full blood’ were expected to assimilate into the broader society under the White Australia Policy. The education in missions: bible stories, sewing & cleaning for girls, and stockwork & gardening for boys Once girls turned 14 they were expected to find employment with white families as domestics By the 1980’s, 100,000+ children had been removed.
Q and A Explore what you already know about the removal of Indigenous children from their families. 1. Make a list of things you know about the history of removal of Indigenous children from their families 2. What information do you know about the removal of Indigenous children in the area you live in? 3. How did the Government of the time justify the removal of Indigenous children?
What did people know at the time?
Rabbit Proof Fence
Took The Children Away Archie Roach (Mushroom Records 1990) This story's right, this story's true I would not tell lies to you Like the promises they did not keep And how they fenced us in like sheep. Said to us come take our hand Sent us off to mission land. Taught us to read, to write and pray Then they took the children away, Took the children away, The children away. Snatched from their mother's breast Said this is for the best Took them away. The welfare and the policeman Said you've got to understand We'll give them what you can't give Teach them how to really live. Teach them how to live they said Humiliated them instead Taught them that and taught them this And others taught them prejudice. You took the children away The children away Breaking their mothers heart Tearing us all apart Took them away One sweet day all the children came back The children come back The children come back Back where their hearts grow strong Back where they all belong The children came back Said the children come back The children come back Back where they understand Back to their mother's land The children come back Back to their mother Back to their father Back to their sister Back to their brother Back to their people Back to their land All the children come back The children come back The children come back Yes I came back. One dark day on Framingham Come and didn't give a damn My mother cried go get their dad He came running, fighting mad Mother's tears were falling down Dad shaped up and stood his ground. He said 'You touch my kids and you fight me' And they took us from our family. Took us away They took us away Snatched from our mother's breast Said this was for the best Took us away. Told us what to do and say Told us all the white man's ways Then they split us up again And gave us gifts to ease the pain Sent us off to foster homes As we grew up we felt alone Cause we were acting white Yet feeling black What does this song tell you about the Stolen Generation?
A Policy of Assimilation Post WWII Populate or Perish!
Rabbit Proof Fence
Impact Community, Family, Culture The Statistics…
38% of Indigenous people were forcibly removed themselves and/or had relatives who, as a child, had been forcibly or otherwise removed from their natural family. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2002 Removal
Age Over 50% of respondents who gave evidence to the Bringing them home Inquiry were five years or younger when they were removed from their families. Bringing them home report, page 182
Next Generation The children of members of the ‘Stolen Generations’ are twice as likely to have emotional and behavioural problems, to be at high risk for hyperactivity, emotional and conduct disorders, and twice as likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey 2001–02
Health Indigenous people in Australia are almost one and a half times more likely to have a disability or long-term health condition than non-Indigenous people. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2002
Racism 21.5% of Indigenous children under 12 experienced racism in the previous six months. Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey 2001–02
Q and A 1. What do these statistics suggest were the effects of the removal of Indigenous children from their families? 2. What conclusions can we draw from these statements/statistics? 3. What other information would be useful to assess the impact of the policies of removal of Indigenous children from their families? 4. What problems might arise in collecting that information?
Yothu Yindi Treaty xn4G8U xn4G8U
Timeline YearEvent 1788-mid 1800s Early removals through church-run missions 1837British Select Committee recommends the appointment of ‘Protectors of Aborigines’ in Australia Indigenous child removal legislation is put in place in all states and territories. The ‘Protectors’ now have the power to remove children. At first, the removals were part of protection and segregation policies, as it was believed that the Indigenous children were part of a dying race. Later, it was believed that the Indigenous children would assimilate and be ‘absorbed’ into the non-Indigenous population. 1937Assimilation is adopted as the official national Indigenous affairs policy 1969Indigenous child removal legislation is removed
Timeline cont. Source: YearEvent 1980The first Link-Up Aboriginal Corporation is established. 1991The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody finds 43 of 99 deaths investigated were of people separated from their families as children. 1994Going Home conference – 600 members of the Stolen Generations 1997The Bringing Them Home report is released. 2000Over 250,000 people participate in the “Sorry” walk across the Harbour Bridge on May 28 th. 2001The Moving Forward conference is held – exploring ways of making amends with the Stolen Generations. 2004Stolen Generations memorial at Reconciliation Place in Canberra is unveiled 461 Sorry Books are entered on the Australian Memory of the World Register th February the Prime Minister moved the apology.