The term Stolen Generation refers to the removal of Aboriginal children from their families by Australian government agencies and church missions between approximately 1900 and 1972. According to the official government report, at least 30000 children were removed from their parents. Percentage estimates were given that 10-30% of all Aboriginal children born during the seventy-year period were removed. Although children of full Aboriginal descent were removed, in general the children of "mixed descent" were the most targeted.
Today, more than 10% of Aboriginal people over the age of 25 have been separated from their natural families under the child protection laws which were in operation in Australia well into the 1960 as.Many of these children were stolen, that is legally removed from their homes by welfare authorities or the police. The children were removed because the white Australians/ Europeans believed that Aboriginal parents were not fit to bring the children up.
Aboriginal parents were declared to be unfit to bring up their own children for a number of reasons. They included the following:.
They would not teach their children how to speak English .
They lived in, what the white authorities considered to be, dirty and squalid conditions .
They would not bring their children up in the Christian faith, but would teach their children heathen' beliefs .
The children were taken away and placed in missions; orphanages and some were fostered out to white homes. Aboriginal children with lighter coloured skin were more likely to be removed from their natural parents, as it was felt they would better fit in to white Australian society than the full blood Aboriginal person.
The Aboriginal children were being taken by the government and placed in these homes because the European/ White Australians feared them; they believed that they were a concern to the white Australians. They told the Aboriginals as well as the rest of the nation that they were being removed because they were living in bad living conditions, but really they didn't want them to learn their people's ways and grow up as an Aboriginal.