The Stolen Generation
The Europeans have felt it has been their right to interfere with Aboriginal people, since the time they arrived. Edwards and Read (1989) inform us of how children were removed from their families in order to create a class of Aboriginals, who were useful and civilised. It is estimated that 300 children were taken by 1850. However the most damage to the Aboriginals, due to separation was done in the nineteenth century. This was due to the opinion that if Aboriginal children were taken from their families, they might attain the level of a white maid or labourer (5-7).
In 1883 the Aboriginal Protection Board was established. In 1909 the board gained legal powers in order to remove Aboriginal Children. This happened only if the magistrate found the children to be neglected. In 1915, the Aboriginal Protection Board became even more powerful and were able to remove the children, simply for being Aboriginal (Read 1982:5-6). The Europeans had the mindset that Aboriginal people were not intelligent (Austin 1993:11). Therefore they believed they were not capable of living in the European civilised manor. There conclusion was to take the children and re-socialise them, in order to teach them how to act in the correct way (Edwards & Read 1987:7). It is tragic to think that a civilisation as advanced at this time as the Europeans, did not take into consideration that another culture other than there own was valuable and meaningful to its people.
It was the intention of the Government of the time to take the children and assimilate them into the community. The children were not told of their heritage or families, and it was thought that they would forget about their cultural values and identities. If this method had been successful, then it was thought that the Aboriginal race, would simply die out (Healy 2001:4). However the Government at the time did not take into account, the Aboriginal strength and determination, to keep...