Who is the lost generation in Australia
AustraliaSorry - what next?
"We apologize for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have caused great pain, suffering and harm to our fellow Australians. We particularly apologize for the children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands residents theirs Families, their communities and their lands have been taken away. "
The Aborigines had been waiting for this moment for many years: On February 13, 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized on behalf of the government for the suffering and injustice that had befallen the native people of the country. Thousands of people watched the speech on big screens in many cities in Australia. When the Prime Minister said the word "Sorry," many Aboriginal people came to tears.
Aboriginal Jason Glanville of the National Center of Indigenous Excellence in Sydney says:
"The use of the term 'sorry' is an important part of the Native Australian healing process. There is loving care and compassion for a person in concern. That compassion for others is deeply rooted in our spirituality."
Kevin Rudd's apology was based on a recommendation from the Australian Human Rights Commission. On May 26, 1997, the Australian Parliament presented a report on the "Stolen Generation", the stolen generation. By the 1970s, almost one hundred thousand children were taken away from Aboriginal families. These were housed in state or church institutions or grew up in white households. Any contact between the children and their relatives was forbidden. May 26th has been the day of remembrance for the "Stolen Generation" since 1998. This year, Aborigines from all over Australia attended the unveiling of a monument erected by Aboriginal artist Reko Rennie on the occasion of the 10th anniversary in the metropolis of Melbourne. He presented his work with the words: We are a strong people. Just think about what we've survived!
"Children in this series are now Catholic"
Glanville relates: "Siblings were taken from families and then had to line up with the other children. Two sisters here, the brother in the other row. Then someone decided arbitrarily: Children in this row are now Catholic, the other row belongs to now on to the Anglican Church. So it happened that the children of a family were assigned to different churches. Their Aboriginal spirituality was now irrelevant, which is a large part of their trauma. "
Aboriginal Peter Gunner gave a record of what had happened to him in a court of law:
"I was seven when they came for me. They came to the farm where our family worked in a van. People tied me to the back of the wagon and took me to a mission station. My parents had me off the beaten track where we can connect with our ancestors. When I wanted to talk about it in the mission, they would beat me with a garden hose. Barefoot they sent me to school, where I was taught with much younger children. When I finished school I couldn't read or write. That's why they hit me, actually they hit me all the time. And if it was only for the fact that I never became the person they always wanted to make of me. "
In his speech, Kevin Rudd not only apologized for the suffering the indigenous peoples had suffered, but he also promised that the gap between white and black Australia would close. This is still not the case today. Furthermore, the unemployment rate among the indigenous people is significantly higher than among the white population. And the health of the Aborigines is also worse: Native women are ten times more likely to develop diabetes than women of European descent. And Aborigines die much earlier than white Australians.
Many Australians criticize the behavior of the indigenous peoples: they would not try hard enough to provide for their own living, but would rest at the expense of the state and live on welfare. Many Australians also complain that Aborigines often take up bottles and take drugs. But many of my compatriots refuse to admit that these are often the aftermath of what the settlers did to us after their arrival in 1788, says Aboriginal Sam Watson, lawyer and lecturer at Queensland University in Brisbane:
Sam Watson: "Fifty, sixty years after the first ships from England anchored here, 80 percent of our people had already been exterminated - they were shot, poisoned or taken from the diseases brought from Europe. That way we have some of ours Culture lost and our land was taken away from us. This loss can never be made good. "
"Many whites still think we are inferior"
There are now mining mines in some areas where tribal communities originally lived. The mineral resources that are extracted there are mainly intended for export. In the past, the Aborigines only took what they needed to survive from the land. The indigenous people have a close bond with their land, it is part of them. There are indigenous holy sites throughout Australia.
Meanwhile the Aborigines are trying to get their land back. The lawsuits for regaining land rights are difficult and often slow.
Attorney Sam Watson says, "Many whites still consider us inferior. But the fact is that the entire Australian economy is based on our land that we were stolen in the past."
Only three percent of the Australian population are Aboriginal. Most of them live in the states of New South Wales and Queensland, and there mostly in the suburbs of the big cities. They are separated from their clan and their holy places, and many are mentally affected. The trauma that the children of the "Stolen Generation" suffered through separation from their families continues to hurt those affected. One of them is the Florence Onus:
"I have participated in several therapies, conventional and culture-based. All of these have helped me heal. Sometimes white Australians ask me: What is still bothering you? There are still a lot of people here who do not know what constitutes our suffering. A lot of clarification still needs to be done so that everyone knows our history. "
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