The Events Leading Up To 'The Bringing Them Home Report'

Events

The Aborigines Protection Act

1869

The Aborigines Protection Act (Vic) establishes an Aborigines Protection Board in Victoria, giving the Governor the power to order the removal of any child from their family

The NSW Aborigines Protection Board

1883

The NSW Aborigines Protection Board is established to manage the lives of 9,000 people

The Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act

1897

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. The Director of Native Welfare is the legal guardian of all 'aboriginal' children whether their parents are living or not until 1965.

The Aborigines Act

1905

The Aborigines Act (WA) is passed. Under the act, the Chief Protector is made the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and 'half-caste' child under 16 years old.

The Aborigines Protection Act

1909

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

1911

The Aborigines Act (SA) makes the Chief Protector the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and 'half-caste' child.

The Aborigines Protection Amending Act

1915

The Aborigines Protection Amending Act (NSW) gives power to the Aboriginal Protection Board to separate Indigenous children from their families without the need to establish neglect in court.

Infants Welfare Act

1935

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

Native Welfaree

1937

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

Aborigines Protection Board

1940

The NSW Aborigines Protection Board loses its power to remove Indigenous children.

Approval

1969

all states have repealed the legislation allowing for the removal of Aboriginal children under the policy of 'protection'.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 are set up to contest removal applications and provide alternatives to the removal of Indigenous children from their families.

Approval

1969

all states have repealed the legislation allowing for the removal of Aboriginal children under the policy of 'protection'.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 are set up to contest removal applications and provide alternatives to the removal of Indigenous children from their families.

Link-Up Aboriginal Corporation

1980

The first Link-Up Aboriginal Corporation is established in NSW. It provides family tracing, reunion and support services for forcibly removed children and their families.

The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle

1983

The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle is introduced in the Northern Territory, aiming to ensure that Indigenous children are placed with Indigenous families when adoption or fostering is necessary.

Going Home Conference

1994

The 'Going Home Conference' in Darwin brings together over 600 Aboriginal people removed as children to discuss common goals of reparations.

National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families

1995

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

The Bringing Them Home Report

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 made 54 recommendations, including a formal government apology, monetary compensation and other reparations to members of the Stolen Generations.

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.

Sorry Day

1998

The National Sorry Day Committee is formed to organise an annual National Sorry Day on 26 May to commemorate the history of forcible removals and their effects. It becomes an annual event.

Bringing Them Home

1998

The National Archives of Australia launches its Bringing Them Home indexing project to identify and preserve records about Indigenous people and communities.

Social Justice Report

1998

releases the 'Social Justice Report', which includes a summary of responses from the churches, and non-Indigenous community to the Inquiry's recommendations, and an 'Implementation Progress Report'.

Motion of Reconciliation

1999

The Federal Parliament passes a Motion of Reconciliation expressing “deep and sincere regret over the removal of Aboriginal children from their parents" but stops short of apologising

Healing: A Legacy of Generations Report

2000

An inquiry into the Federal Government's implementation of the 'Bringing Them Home' recommendations is undertaken by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee. It results in the 'Healing: A Legacy of Generations Report'.

Apologies

2001

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

Pope John Paul II issues a formal apology on behalf of the Vatican to the affected Aboriginal families for the actions of Catholic authorities or organisations in connection with the Stolen Generations.

Stolen Generation

2008

The Commonwealth Government establishes a memorial to the Stolen Generations at Reconciliation Place in Canberra.

461 “Sorry Books", recording the reflections of Australians on the Stolen Generations, are entered on the Australian Memory of the World Register as part of UNESCO's program to preserve and promote material with significant historical valu