Written by Kushagra Nanda, a grade 10 student
You might have heard of stolen ruby, stolen key but I’ll tell you about ‘The Stolen Generations’.
The Stolen Generations refer to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were taken away from their families by Australian Federal and State government agencies and church missions between 1910 and 1970.
These children were taken way from their parents forcibly. The policies of child removal left a trauma and the loss continues to affect Indigenous communities, families and individuals even today.
This cruel policy of ‘child removal’, or should we say, ‘child stealing’ included punishment for speaking their local Indigenous languages. Some children were adopted by white families, and many were placed in institutions where abuse and neglect were common. Many were psychologically, physically, and sexually abused while living in state care or with their adoptive families.Their culture often caused them to feel ashamed of their Indigenous heritage.
In all about 100,000 children were taken away from their parents.
Of the roughly 2,500 children taken in Nothern Territory, less than 300 are still alive. They are living in hope that the federal government will compensate them for their suffering – and are dying in despair as they wait. The intention was to educate them for a different future and to prevent them being brought up in their own cultures. This is far worse than kidnapping.
Although Australia’s government has apologized for these policies, but, I ask you – is it ever possible to make adequate amends for the mistakes of past generations? Is it even right to apologise for what we cannot undo? A crime of killing humanity, a torture by humans on humans. A torture not only done on children taken away from the parents but also a torture on parents whose children were separated from them.
Now we can only be sorrowful and can do nothing. It is not about apologising, it is about the mistreatment and wrongdoings to Australian’s Indigenous populations, and the “profound grief, suffering and loss” that was caused by the forcible removal of these children.
It was unforgivable.
Written by Kushagra Nanda