The Stolen Generation

Events

The Protection Act

June 15, 1869

The Governor has the right to officially remove children to an industrial or a reformatory (schools that teach children how to work in factory jobs) school. The Protection Board has the power to remove children from families and house them.
The Protection Act is followed in other states through the years: New South Wales (1883), Queensland (1897), Western Australia (1905) and South Australia (1911).
The Chief Protector is assigned as the legal guardian to every Aboriginal and mixed Aborigines under 18.

Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act (Qld)

1897

The Chief Protector has the power to remove Aboriginal people onto and in reserves and can house children into dormitories and take them away from their families. The Director of Native Welfare is now the legal guardian for every single Aboriginal children regardless whether the child’s parents are alive or not.

The Western Australian Aborigines Act

1905

The Chief Protector is made the legal guardian of every individual mixed and Aboriginal child who are under 16 years old. In each reserve, a local ‘protector’ is appointed, and there are laws governing Aboriginal employment.

Protection Act

1909

The Aborigines Protection Board implemented this rule and now has the power to "legally provide and care for Aborigines', and can move Aboriginal children from families.

The Northern Territory Aboriginals Ordinance

1911

The Chief Protector is assigned the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and mixed Aboriginal child under 18 years old. They can be removed by force and can be forced to settle somewhere else or go on a mission.

The South Australian Aborigines Act

1911

The Chief Protector is assigned the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and mixed Aboriginal child under 21 years old. The Chief Protector also can control where the children lived.

The New South Wales Aborigines Protection Board

1915

The New South Wales Aborigines Protection Board has the power to take children away without a court hearing.

Replacement of the Chief Protector

1932

The Aborigines Protection Board replaces the Chief Protector

Infant Welfare Act

1935

The introduction of the Infants Welfare Act (Tas) is used to remove Indigenous children from Cape Barren Island from their families.

Commonwealth/State Conference

1937

The first Commonwealth/State conference on 'native welfare' adopts assimilation as the national policy.

Aborigines Welfare Board

1940

The NSW Aborigines Protection Board loses its power to remove Indigenous children. The Board is renamed the Aborigines Welfare Board and is finally abolished in 1969.

Abolishment of removals

1969

All states abolished the legislation that allowed the removal of Indigenous children.

Link up Aboriginal Corporation

1980

The first Link-Up Aboriginal Corporation is set up in NSW. It is established for family tracing, reunion and support services for the victims of the Stolen Generation.

The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle

1983

The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle is introduced in the Northern Territory. This was to ensure that Indigenous children are placed with Indigenous families in cases of 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).

'Bringing Home' Report

1994

600 Aboriginal people who are victims of the Stolen Generation come together on the ‘Going Home Conference’ in Darwin to share their personal experiences.

National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal children

1995

The Commonwealth Government establishes the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families.

'Bring them Home'

1997

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) presents 'Bringing Them Home',its report on the findings of the 'National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families to the Commonwealth Government'. The report included a government apology, compensations and other reparations to the Indigenous community.
The parliaments and governments of all states and the ACT issue apologies to the Stolen Generations.
The Australian Government unveils its response to the Bringing Them Home' report, featuring a $63 million practical assistance package but rejects the recommendations for an apology or compensation scheme.