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Friday, July 15, 2005

Stolen Generation Robert Manne essay

"How did the twentieth-century policy and practice of Aboriginal child removal begin? It seems, on present understanding, the response of Australian governments to a problem that stirred parliaments, public opinion and Aboriginal administrators alike in the first half of our century: the problem of the so-called 'half- caste'. In the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century educated opinion in Australia seems, generally, to have been of the view that the full-blood tribal Aborigine represented a dying race, doomed in the fullness of time to extinction. It would be quite wrong, of course, to think that this belief about impending Aboriginal extinction was not, in general, held with regret, as a kind of settled scientific fact. Lesser cultures, it was believed, could not survive contact with higher civilisations. Eventually in the l920s and l9SOs, some Australians came to think that extinction of full blood Aborigines might not be inevitable." (full essay at link)
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