In 1869 the Victorian Boar for Protection of Aborigines was established. This meant indigenous and ‘half-caste’ children can be removed from their homes and families and sent to a reformatory or industrial school. The children were stolen from their families so they could be brought up t ‘white’ and told that being Aboriginal was wrong.
The children were also expected to become labourers and servants and girls in particular to become domestic servants. The children’s legal guardian was the Chief Protector for every aboriginal and half-caste person under 18. From 1909-1969 the removal of Aboriginal children was a government policy.At this particular time the indigenous were seen as the inferior race. They were encouraged to become assimilated into the broader society, with the ‘white people’ hoping that eventually there would be no indigenous people left. Many people did not understand or respect the indigenous people, this meant they supported the removals of the children and thought they were doing the right thing.
People believed that Aboriginal people lived poor and unrewarding lives and that the children would live in a more positive environment and be able to better themselves if they lived the ‘white way’ of life.The racist views also meant the British thought that indigenous women didn’t look after their children. These thoughts were obviously wrong due to the fact it doesn’t matter what colour you are everyone can be a good parent to their children.
It is unknown how many children were taken as records were lost or destroyed but the figures look to be in the 10 thousands. Many parents have never seen their children again and won’t due to lost information and siblings that were taken were purposely separated. Many people don’t know when they were born or where.
This group of children came to be known at the stolen generation. The country and our government have since learnt from our mistakes and hope to never repeat this tragedy. Myall Creek Massacre – 1838 The Myall Creek Massacre was one of many of indigenous people but, this particular massacre served as a big step forward in the equal rights between the Aboriginal People and the settlers. There were 50 Aboriginal people living on the Myall Creek Station, around 116km from Moree NSW, ten men also worked on a neighbouring station 50km away.The men learnt of an armed group heading to Myall Creek to kill the Aboriginal people and decided to walk back as fast as they could. The armed stockmen tied up the hands of the Aboriginals and 20 minutes after they arrived they started hacking and slashing the people to death. They were beheaded and their bodies left where they fell. The stockmen then set up camp and celebrated their killings.
The 10 Aboriginal men arrived later that night, realising they were too late they continued walking. The stockmen returned to Myall Creek to burn the bodies and set off to find the 10 men they had missed.The Aboriginal men reached McIntyre, that same day the stockmen arrived and killed not only the 10 men they had missed but, the indigenous community living at Macintyre consisting of around 35 people. They again burned the bodies and celebrated and five days after their first killings they set off to go home. Three weeks later Governor George Gipps ordered an investigation; ten suspects were indentified and brought to Sydney to face court. The news that white people were being held prisoners for killing Aboriginals left many angry and in favour of the suspects.
Many people gave money to finance the men’s defence, even the jurors. I look at blacks as a set of monkeys… the earlier they are exterminated from the face of this earth the better… I would never see a white man hanged for killing a black,” one of the jurors quoted in the Australian, 18 Dec 1838.
The first trial with thin evidence due to only the killers witnessing the crime, the suspects were found not guilty. There was a second trial that focused on 7 of the 10 men for the killing of just one Aboriginal person this time the jury found them guilty and all 7 were hung. This was the first time that a white person was punished for killing Aboriginal people.