Timeline stolen generation

Stolen Generation

  • The Aboriginal Protection Act (VIC)

    The Aboriginal Protection Act (Vic) establishes an Aborigines Protection Board in Victoria to manage the interests of Aborigines. The Governor can order the removal of any child from their family to a reformatory or industrial school.
    • The Aboriginal Protection Act : http://foundingdocs.gov.au/item.asp?sdID=22
  • The NSW Aborigines Protection Board

    The NSW Aborigines Protection Board is established to manage the lives of 9000 people. • Protection and Welfare Boards in New South Wales:
  • The Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act (Qld)

    The Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act (Qld) allows the Chief Protector to remove local Aboriginal people onto and between reserves and hold children in dormitories. Until 1965 the Director of Native Welfare is the legal guardian of all ‘aboriginal’ children whether their parents are living or not.
    • A copy and description of the Act: http://foundingdocs.gov.au/item.asp?sdID=54
  • Australia becomes a Federation

    Australia becomes a Federation. The Constitution states that Aboriginal People will not be counted in the census, and that the Commonwealth has the power to make laws relating to any race of people In Australia with the exception of Aborigines. The federated states therefore retain exclusive power over Aboriginal affairs until the Constitution is amended in 1967.
    • A copy of the original constitution: http://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/item.asp?dID=11
  • The Aborigines Act (WA)

    The Aborigines Act (WA) is passed. Under this law, the Chief Protector is made the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and ‘half-caste’ child under 16 years old. In the following years, other states and territories enact similar laws.
    • Bringing them home – Appendix 5: Western Australia. Laws applying speci cally to Aboriginal children: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/IndigLRes/stolen/stolen68.html
  • The Aborigines Protection Act (NSW)

    The Aborigines Protection Act (NSW) gives the Aborigines Protection Board power to assume full control and custody of the child of any Aborigine if a court found the child to be neglected under the Neglected Children and Juvenile Offenders Act 1905 (NSW).
  • The Aborigines Act (SA)

    The Aborigines Act (SA) makes the Chief Protector the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and `half- caste’ child with additional wide-ranging powers to remove Indigenous people to and from reserves.
  • The Northern Territory Aboriginals Ordinance (Cth)

    The Northern Territory Aboriginals Ordinance (Cth) gives the Chief Protector to assume `the care, custody or control of any Aboriginal or half caste if in his opinion it is necessary or desirable in the interests of the Aboriginal or half caste for him to do so’.
  • The Aborigines Protection Amending Act (NSW)

    The Aborigines Protection Amending Act (NSW) gives power to the Aboriginal Protection Board to separate Indigenous children from their families without having to establish in court that they were neglected.
  • The introduction of the Infants Welfare Act (Tas)

    The introduction of the Infants Welfare Act (Tas) is used to remove Indigenous children on Cape Barren Island from their families. From 1928 until 1980 the head teacher on Cape Barren is appointed as a special constable with the powers and responsibilities of a police constable, including the power to remove a child for neglect under child welfare legislation.
  • Assimilation becomes National Policy

    The firrst Commonwealth/State conference on ‘native welfare’ adopts assimilation as the national policy:
    The destiny of the natives of aboriginal origin, but not of the full blood, lies in ultimate absorption ... with a view to their taking their place in the white community on an equal footing with the whites.
  • The NSW Aborigines Protection Board

    The NSW Aborigines Protection Board loses its power to remove Indigenous children. The Board is renamed the Aborigines Welfare Board
  • Repeal of Legislation

    By 1969, all states had repealed the legislation allowing for the removal of Aboriginal children under the policy of ‘protection’. In the following years, Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Agencies (“AICCAs”) are set up to contest removal applications and provide alternatives to the removal of Indigenous children from their families.
  • The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle

    The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle, developed principally due to the efforts of Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Agencies (“AICCAs”) during the 1970s, is incorporated in NT welfare legislation
    to ensure that Indigenous children are placed with Indigenous families when adoption or fostering is necessary. This is followed in NSW (1987), Victoria (1989), South Australia (1993), Queensland and the ACT (1999), Tasmania (2000) and Western Australia (2006).
  • The Going Home Conference

    The Going Home Conference in Darwin brings together over 600 Aboriginal people removed as children to discuss common goals of access to archives, compensation, rights to land and social justice.
  • National Inquiry

    The National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children From Their Families is established by the Commonwealth Government in response to efforts made by key Indigenous agencies and communities.
    • Terms of Reference: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/rsjproject/rsjlibrary/hreoc/stolen/prelim.html#terms
  • The Bringing Them Home Report

    The Commission presents Bringing them home, its report on the ndings of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families to the Commonwealth Government.
    • The Bringing them home report: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/rsjproject/rsjlibrary/hreoc/stolen/
  • State Appologies

    The parliaments and governments of Victoria, Tasmania, ACT, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia all issue statements recognising and publicly apologising to the ‘Stolen Generations’.
  • Motion of Deep and Sincere Regret

    Federal Parliament passes a motion of ‘deep and sincere regret over the removal of Aboriginal children from their parents’.
  • NT Appology

    The Northern Territory Government presents a parliamentary motion of apology to people who were removed from their families.
  • Compensation

    The first member of the Stolen Generations is awarded compensation in the NSW Victims Compensation Tribunal for the abuse and injuries she suffered after authorities removed her from her family.
  • Memorial

    The Commonwealth Government establishes a memorial to the Stolen Generations at Reconciliation Place in Canberra. 461 ‘Sorry Books’ recording the thoughts of Australians on the unfolding history of the Stolen Generations are inscribed on the Australian Memory of the World Register, part of UNESCO’s programme to protect and promote documentary material with significant historical value.
  • Stolen Generations Victoria

    The organisation Stolen Generations Victoria is set up as a result of the 2003 report of the Stolen Generations taskforce. Its purpose is to establish a range of support and referral services that will assist Stolen Generation peoples to reconnect with their family, community, culture and land.
    For more details on this organisation see: http://www.stolengenerationsvictoria.org.au
  • Compensation Scheme TAS

    The first Stolen Generations compensation scheme in Australia is set up in Tasmania by the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal Children Act 2006 (Tas).
    • For the full text of the legislation see: http://www.thelaw.tas.gov.au
  • Kevin Rudd Appology

    The federal government publically apologises to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia for the forced removals of their children throughout history.
    Response to Government to the National Apology to the Stolen Generations’ by Tom Calma – 13 February 2008.
    • See www.humanrights.gov.au/about/media/speeches/social_justice/2008/20080213let_the_ healing_begin.html
    Apology transcript – AIATSIS – http://www1.aiatsis.gov.au/exhibitions/apology/sorry.html