How and Why Were Aboriginal Children Removed From Their Families?

Essay by dudeskieJunior High, 9th gradeA, March 2003

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From the earliest days of British occupation of Australia, the Government allowed the removal of Aboriginal children from their families. These children are known as the 'stolen generation.' They were raised in institutions, or fostered out to white families. Between 1910 and 1970 up to 100 000 Aboriginal children were taken forcibly or under duress from their families by welfare officers or police. The reasons for how and why these Aboriginal children were removed from their families will be discussed. The main motives behind the Government policy, reasons given by the government will be explored. How the children were taken and what happened to them will be explained.

It is believed that the main motive behind the Federal and State Government policy for the removal of Aboriginal children from their families, was to 'assimilate' Aboriginal children into European society over one or two generations. The policy presumed that, over time, indigenous people would die out or become so mixed with the European population that they would become indistinguishable.

At this time the "White Australia" policy was in place, and was a strong belief for many, leading to this idea of assimilation for the indigenous community of Australia.

There were many reasons that the government used as grounds to file a Care and Protection Application, which would allow the removal of the child from his family. Such reasons are:

·Abandonment. (Children left with relatives while their parent were away seeking work, were considered to be abandoned).

· No visible means of support or no settled home. (Aboriginal families without an income, sharing accommodation with kin were considered to have 'no visible means of support'.)

·Living or in company of known vagrants or criminals. (A lot of Aboriginal people had been charged and convicted of "vagrancy".)

·Under unfit guardianship. (Aboriginal parents would...