Historically there were many interventions into families that were extremely unwise and as a result many people today feel disconnected from their families. During these dark days there was essentially two groups of people who had their children removed from them: (a) any Aboriginal child that came to the department’s attention was systematically removed from their parents; (b) any non-aboriginal child born out of wedlock that came to the department’s attention was removed from their mother.
The purpose of the removal of Aboriginal children from their parents was to create a break between the child and the Aboriginal culture; this was and remains an appalling reason for and intervention by the department, an undisclosed number of persons were affected by this appalling policy and in recent years there have been some attempts to compensate survivors from this appalling policy. Unfortunately the poor handling of this process has only had a low level success rate and the historical anger has not been dealt with effectively. Greater care and attention to the details of the recovery from these appalling situations must be implemented so as to demonstrate that all Aboriginal people in Australia are equal in every way to all other Australians. We, as a nation, have not as yet done that in a balanced and culturally sensitive way.
The purpose of the removal of non Aboriginal children was to prevent the rise of single parent families, because at the time is was deemed that all children must have a father and a mother, yet there were many families where a spouse was left by themselves due to divorce, separation, death and abandonment and none of these things were taken into consideration by the members of the parliament at the time. This again was and remains an appalling policy situation.
Thankfully there were not many non-Aboriginal children were affected by this, though many a young pregnant woman would be sent away to a more remote circumstances away from their immediate family (usually a farm environment) and after the birth a relative would register the birth of the child as if they were the mother of the child; in this way the actual mother could have direct contact with their child. This policy again has caused many real issues to those involved and caught up within this appalling policy. Thankfully this has also been discontinued a long time ago.
Never again shall such appalling things be done to young people in this country! All necassary assistance will be given to those suffering because of this appalling policy so that the trauma will be capable of being overcome.
We join will all who wish to appologise for Australian governments having such appalling policies and we unreservably appologise for the harm done to many in our communities due to these horrible policies.
The Department of Family Services must not ever consider the removal of children from dysfunctional families as their primary objective. The goal of The Department of Family Services must be to restore a dysfunctional family to as best one can to wholeness and so is a temporary removal of a child become necessary for the safety of the child a full restorative program must be commenced so that the child can be restored to the family when it is safe to so do. While the health of each and every child is important the department must consider that the restoration of the family as their primary objective.