Schools to promote "Stolen generation" story
This is fiction, not history. One or two dubious cases of "stolen" Aboriginal children have been put forward but nothing outside the usual incidence of social worker misjudgment. There have been far more incidences of regrettable social worker actions in England.
So the idea of a stolen "GENERATION" (i.e. 20,000 children or thereabouts) is the wildest fantasy. It is however a dangerous fantasy. It has made modern-day social workers very reluctant to remove Aboriginal children from neglectful and abusive families, resulting in some avoidable deaths and much suffering
Australian history and the curriculum that teaches it will today receive a boost as new lesson plans detailing the lived experience of the Stolen Generations become available to school children.
Developed by The Healing Foundation in consultation with Stolen Generations members, teachers, parents and curriculum writers, the new resources promote greater understanding about an often overlooked part of Australia’s history in a safe and age appropriate way.
The Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students will be officially launched at Trangie Central School near Dubbo in regional NSW this morning, one of the schools involved in testing the resources.
Including compulsory modules on the Stolen Generations in school curricula was first recommended in the landmark 1997 Bringing them Home report. The report identified education as an important part of the reparation process, with awareness of the history of child removal seen as key to preventing a repetition of such human rights violations.
The Healing Foundation’s Chair Professor Steve Larkin said sharing the truth of Australian history is an important part of healing for the thousands of children who were forcibly removed from their families between 1910 and the 1970s.
“Despite the traumatic impact that the Stolen Generations policies continue to have on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, very little about this chapter of our history has been taught in schools - particularly from an Indigenous perspective.
"We hope these resources will foster greater respect and understanding of the past and influence a different relationship with our communities,” Professor Larkin said.
Trangie Central School’s Deputy Principal Dimiti Trudgett said learning about the Stolen Generations encourages reconciliation for all Australians.
“As an important part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, it supports the healing process for those impacted both directly and indirectly by acknowledging, comprehending and correcting the past,” Ms Trudgett said.
“We have trialled a number of activities from the resource kit with our secondary students and the response has been positive. The resources are not only educational, but are genuine and engaging. Our students particularly enjoyed the video case studies and computer components.”
The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Reference Group Chair Ian Hamm said the activities draw heavily on the stories, music, dance, art and writing of Stolen Generations members and their descendants and showcase the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture
“While the policies and suffering of the Stolen Generations is only one part of the ongoing story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people it is an essential one to learn as part of developing a full understanding of the history of Australia,” Mr Hamm said.
The kit includes suggested lesson plans for Foundation Year through to Year 9, mapped to the Australian Curriculum, as well as professional learning tools for teachers.
Each year level includes four activities that can be taught over a day, week, month or term and align with National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.
To mark the launch of these important new resources, The Healing Foundation is offering $700 micro grants for schools to hold events about the Stolen Generations between National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week 2019. To find out more or apply visit www.healingfoundation.org.au/schools
The lesson plans, case studies and other resources are available on The Healing Foundation website. Hardcopy versions of the kit can be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media release from The Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation. Media contact: Ben O'Halloran - 0474 499 911 or email@example.com