European Colonisation Of Australia Case Study

1357 Words 6 Pages
During the European colonisation of Australia, oppressive laws functioned to subjugate and control the indigenous population. The Aborigines Protection Act, 1909 (Cth) was particularly devastating, stripping Indigenous people of basic human rights and freedoms, and robbing generations of their connection to their families and culture. The Act was abolished in 1969, however, the trauma continues to impact the wellbeing of Indigenous people today. In an effort to reconcile past injustices and improve the lives of Indigenous people, the Federal Parliament established the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act 1991 (CAR) (Cth) to manage the reconciliation process in Australia. This essay will examine the long-term impact of European colonisation …show more content…
106). As the self-declared legitimate occupants of Australia, the use of policy and practice proved important tools for the British to maintain and expand colonisation (Gulson, Parkes 2010, p. 300). In particular, the policies during the period of colonisation were used to manage the Aboriginal population and formed the basis for establishing the Board for the Protection of Aborigines 1983 (Cth). However, the board did not have any statutory power until the passage of the Aborigines Protection Act 1909 (Cth) (. From this Act emerged the child removal policy which allowed the APB to assume full control and custody of any Indigenous child if the court ruled that the child’s welfare was at risk (Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)). Amendments to the Act in 1915 significantly increased the APB’s power and stripped the rights of parents, authorising the systematic removal of Aboriginal children without the requirement of a court order (Australian Human Rights Commission n.d.). Maddison (2013, p. 289) states the purpose of the child removal policy was to ‘erase Indigenous presence’ and assimilate them into European society. The survivors of these policies are called The Stolen Generations and involve several …show more content…
2; Sherwood 2013, p. 35). Research has shown that trauma is intensified when it is inflicted by those whose purpose is believed to be one of protection. This especially applies to Aboriginal people, who have experienced systemic attacks on their existence through past and present policies executed under the guise of protection and welfare (Nadew, 2012, p. 2). According to Sherwood (2013, p. 36), when left unresolved, the trauma transfers between generations resulting in the experience of negative psychological and physiological health problems directly related to the anguish and suffering experienced by past generations. In particular, the effect of the child removal policy has impacted generations of children belonging to the victims, manifesting in behaviours linked to avoidance, anxiety and intrusive thoughts, which are further complicated by substance and alcohol abuse, self-harm. Additionally, transgenerational trauma has been linked to higher levels of violence; family and intimate partner violence; resulting in disproportionate rates of Aboriginal incarceration (Nadew 2012, p. 3). Sherwood (2013, p. 33) claims the continued persistence of colonist ideology in government policies continues to impact the wellbeing of Indigenous people. Further, failure of governments to properly

Related Documents

Related Topics