The Stolen Generations

Essay by RainmakerUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2004

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The Stolen Generation

The land mark event I have chosen to focus on for this section of the Assessment Event is the removal of Aboriginal children, 'The Stolen Generation/s', from their traditional homes and their parents. I will endeavour to discuss the effects of one particular government policy, that is the 'Assimilation Policy', and the effects which it had on the indigenous population during the time it was enacted and the effects which it has had and has on the Aboriginal population within Australia today. The 'Stolen Generations' policy was clearly enacted and implemented prior to 1975. However, its implications have subsequently been felt and continue to be felt by both indigenous and non-indigenous societies.

The Assimilation Policy was introduced after the Protectorate experiment, which had existed from 1833 to 1972, failed. 'The government response to this failure was to remove indigenous people from their traditional lands and place them onto reserves, here they were placed under the control of the Chief Protector or Protection Board, the Chief Protector was made the legal guardian of all Aboriginal children, displacing the rights of parents.

The management of the reserves was delegated to government appointed managers or missionaries in receipt of government subsidies.'(Bringing Them Home Report)

Such policies and actions surely would have created a mixture of thoughts, emotions and responses from most societies that were subjected to them, not just Aboriginal societies. They surely would have felt and indeed would still be feeling, confused, angry, bewildered and resentful. The European societies, and particularly the 'zealous missionaries whose initial goal was to Christianise the heathen savages' children' (Sociology of Education: p198) viewed the Aboriginal societies as savage. However, when one considers what the Aboriginal people were actually suffering as a result of these policies and actions, one must wonder who...