Australia’s Never Ending “Stolen Generations” Racket

‘Stolen Generations’ victim culture comes at a cost

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun February 14, 2018

There’s one big hitch with Labor leader Bill Shorten’s promise this week to give $75,000 to victims of the “Stolen Generations”. Who will he give this cash, when our courts can’t find them?

Shorten is not alone in promoting the myth that up to 100,000 children were stolen from their parents by racist officials just because they were Aboriginal.

He now wants to compensate Aborigines “stolen” in federal territories — most in the Northern Territory, but also some in the ACT and Jervis Bay.

But here’s the problem.

Two decades ago, human rights lawyers ran a test case for compensation for Aborigines allegedly stolen in the NT.

They’d signed up about 550 “victims” and chose two as the first claimants — Lorna Cubillo and Peter Gunner. I assume they were the strongest cases.

But in 2000 the Federal Court found Gunner had not been stolen but sent by his mother to school in Alice Springs.

It found Cubillo was also not stolen. Welfare officials had found her, aged only eight, at a bush ration camp. Her father had long gone, her mother was dead and her grandmother lived many miles away, so she was taken to Darwin for care and schooling.

Importantly, the court also ruled it could not find proof of an NT policy to steal children just for being Aboriginal: “That evidence does not support a finding that there was any policy of removal of part-Aboriginal children such as that alleged.”

Moreover, three witness who’d also claimed in court to have been stolen seemed, after questioning, not to have been.

One had actually been sent to an Alice Springs hostel by his stockman dad, who paid a pound a week for his board while he got an education.

Another had been sent to school by his mother; the third was dropped off by his grandfather.

I suspect Labor knows it will struggle to find truly “stolen” children.

Indeed, Labor frontbencher Pat Dodson this week made clear the $75,000 handouts would go to “survivors” with few questions asked.

“There wouldn’t be a whole onerous process,” he said.

“We’d design a program where that could be empathetic to their situation rather than the one that bureaucrats would want to, you know, have a box to tick on every matter.”

That’s how bad history creates bad bureaucracy — and a crippling victim culture.

1/ Labor leader Bill Shorten has promised to give $75,000 to victims of the ‘Stolen Generations’. Picture: AAP

2/ Labor frontbencher Pat Dodson said the handouts would go to ‘survivors’ with few questions asked.

Image may contain: 1 person, beard and hatImage may contain: 1 person

ABC REPEATS DISCREDITED “STOLEN GENERATIONS” CLAIMS

The ABC in a special report peddles discredited claims about the “stolen generations” – claiming “up to 100,000 children” were stolen from their Aboriginal parents simply to be “assimilated”. It then interviews a woman insisting “they have to stop taking our kids”.

Watch the unbelievable bias, appalling research and dangerous appeal to stop saving so many Aboriginal children:

YOUTUBE

This ABC report says the Human Rights Commission in its (infamous) Bringing Them Home report estimated up to 100,000 Aboriginal children were stolen to be assimilated, in what the Humane Rights Commission at the time claimed was an act of “systematic racial discrimination and genocide”. That language alone should have been a warning.

In fact, even Professor Robert Manne, a leading “stolen generations” propagandist (or academic, take your pick), has admitted that the 100,000 figure is a wild exaggeration. He prefers the figure of 25,000, and in a debate with me admitted that even then those 25,000 would include cases were children were also removed because they were judged to be in danger.

And now we’re getting to the truth.

I have challenged Manne, the Sorry Day Council and others in public debates to name just 10 children truly stolen in the past century for just being Aboriginal. Not a single person has met that challenge. See my response here after Manne’s third and final attempt to produce 10 names.

For instance:

[Manne] included children sent to school, rescued from neglect, unwanted by their mother….

They included a fatherless 12-year-old girl with syphilis, a 13-year-old who was seven months pregnant and working for no wages on a station, and a boy who was kept chained up in a back yard by white employers when he was bad…

Lorna Cubillo, once named by Manne as a “stolen” child, was found in fact to have been rescued by authorities after being found in a bush camp with her mother dead, her father gone and her grandmother somewhere else.

Peter Gunner, also named by Manne as stolen, was ruled to have been sent to a home in Alice Springs to get an education, with his mother signing a document after long negotiation to gain her permission. Why had Manne presented them as “stolen”? …

[Manne] also lists as stolen the late Robert Riley, citing as his source the biography by Quentin Beresford. Did you actually read that book, Robert? Beresford says he in fact doesn’t know why Riley went to Sister Kate’s home as a two year old, although a file letter to the Minister of Child Welfare at the time records he was simply “left at this home, by his mother”. A later report from a welfare officer notes that his mother “showed no interest at all in her son”. And some of those who knew Riley later said his mother actually sent him to Sister Kate’s because her then boyfriend said he’d kill him if she didn’t…

The truth is that Aboriginal children were once saved (not stolen) from the kind of neglect or danger from which we still save many Aboriginal today.

Aboriginal activists and white idealists do not want to recognise this hard truth or recognise any dysfunction in Aboriginal culture. It is much easier and I dare say more profitable to blame white racists and child-stealers instead.

Our courts, however, are still bound by rules of evidence. That is why no court has yet found – in hearing the various claims for compensation – that there was indeed a policy to steal children just for being Aboriginal:

The Federal Court in 2000…, after going through the records of Aboriginal policy in the Northern Territory, … ruled: “I am limited to making findings on the evidence that was presented to this Court in these proceedings; that evidence does not support a finding that there was any policy of removal of part-Aboriginal children such as that alleged by the applicants...”

Justice Janine Pritchard in the WA Supreme Court on December 20 rejected claims that from 1958-79 there was any official program in WA to implement the so-called Stolen Generation policy….

Justice Pritchard found: “The references to ‘assimilation’ in the evidence I have set out above are not sufficient to support a finding on the balance of probabilities that at the time of the wardships there was, within the Department of Native Welfare or the Child Welfare Department, the pursuit of a policy of assimilation of aboriginal people into white Australian society through the wardship of aboriginal children…”

[In South Australia, Justice Gray] made clear that official policy in South Australia was actually NOT to remove Aboriginal children just because they were Aboriginal, and officials worried that Aboriginal children were often left in terrible danger…

Gray noted, for instance, that in 1923, as South Australia passed a law to help neglected Aboriginal children, the then treasurer assured Parliament: “The dictates of humanity forbid the state to deprive mothers of their infant children in cases where their mothers desire to keep them.” …

Victoria’s Labor Government was told in 2003 ago by its Stolen Generations Taskforce that … in Victoria, at least, there had been “no formal policy for removing children”. Ever.

It is true that sometimes misjudgements were made and children taken who should not have been, or children taken from once danger only to be sent to another. But a policy of “genocide”? Rubbish.

But the ABC is not just guilty of fake history. It is recklessly putting the lives of Aboriginal children at risk.

This ABC special report makes a clear appeal not to remove so many Aboriginal children today (given we still remove Aboriginal children at 10 times the rate of other children).

ABC host Jon Faine this morning interviewed (far too gently) Greens MP Lidia Thorpe making the same claim, and emotionally accusing officials of ripping children from the arms of their mothers in a continuation of the stolen generation.

This is so dangerous.

The evidence is that despite the high rate of removal we still save not too many Aboriginal children but too few. The “stolen generations” myth is making official too scared to save children from danger, and some children are paying for this ideological nonsense with their lives.

As I wrote three years ago:

Western Australia’s Chief Justice, Wayne Martin, last week tried again to warn us.

“There has been an over-reaction to the stolen generation, which has resulted in people being too willing to allow Aboriginal kids to remain in environments that they would not allow non-Aboriginal kids to remain in,” he told a Senate committee.

He told of a child in state care left “running around in what looked like a dump outside of Port Hedland” in what had been deemed culturally appropriate squalor.

“If that were a non-Aboriginal kid, would the same decision have been made? The answer is, plainly, no,” said Martin….

the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister, Adam Giles, with Aboriginal ancestry, was criticised for attacking a virtual ban on adopting out Aboriginal children “for fear of (the) stolen generation”.

The cost of that has been horrific:

For years we’ve been warned. As early as 2001, Victoria’s Mildura Aboriginal Co-operative angrily noted: “Things have to be a hundred times worse for Kooris before the (Community Services) department will become involved.”

WA’s deputy coroner that year also sounded the alarm after a three-year-old Aboriginal boy died from malnutrition and pneumonia.

The boy’s mother had failed to feed her son properly or give him prescribed medicines for his many infections, but when a doctor begged her Aboriginal case worker (with that “cultural competence” the Greens now prescribe) to at least remove the boy’s even sicker sister, she was told she didn’t understand Aboriginal ways.

The coroner noted: “Experience has shown that in the long term taking Aboriginal children from their communities is not an effective solution socially, although in this case it may have been medically advisable. We have a dead child …”

But who wanted to hear that the “stolen generations” story was killing children? So the dying continued.

In NSW in 2003, five-month-old Mundine Orcher died after what the coroner called a “systematic attack” in the care of relatives, and a day after a Department of Community Services officer dropped off a fridge and washing machine.

DOCS had advised staff the “indigenous community needs to be treated, in child protection terms, with constant sensitivity to the historical impact of … the stolen generations”, but the Ombudsman in reviewing Orcher’s death warned this could easily overshadow the needs of a child. Also in NSW, a Child Death Review Team investigating why children of Aboriginal drug addicts were 10 times more likely to die than children of white ones, said the same: “A history of inappropriate intervention with Aboriginal families should not lead now to an equally inappropriate lack of intervention for Aboriginal children at serious risk.”

In Queensland in 2006, social workers even removed an Aboriginal girl from her loving, but white, foster family, saying this was repeating the “stolen generations”.

They sent the girl, who had been pack-raped at seven, back to her Aurukun community, where she was pack-raped again.

In Darwin in 2007, welfare officers found a 12-year-old girl crying on the floor of her home, but were told by her part-Aboriginal foster carers she was scared she’d be taken away. So they left her (as the Greens policy now seems to recommend), and she died the next day, covered with ants in the dirt outside, with a litre and a half of pus in her leg.

And while the ABC and activists crusade against removing Aboriginal children, those trying to save them keep counting the cost of not intervening.

From just last week

More than 160 children known to child protection workers have died as a result of assault, suicide, poor health and other tragic factors over the past five years – often because authorities had failed to intervene.

And in a trend that Victoria’s first Aboriginal children’s watchdog admits has taken a personal toll, about one in 10 of those deaths involved Indigenous children, including babies killed by family violence.

“It makes me angry,” said Andrew Jackomos, who stepped down from the job last week after a successful but gruelling first term.

“I hate seeing Aboriginal kids being removed, but there are times when they have to be removed for their own safety and they’re not. These kids may have been alive today if the system had acted according to procedures.”

When will the ABC put the lives of Aboriginal children above their “stolen generations” myth? What is more important to them?

COURTS CAN’T FIND “STOLEN GENERATIONS” VICTIMS, BUT LABOR WILL PAY THEM

The Federal Court couldn’t find a “stolen generation” in the Northern Territory, despite hearing a huge test case and a subsequent appeal. Yet Labor will today promise handouts of around $75,000 to “survivors” there – without close checks on whether those “survivors” were actually stolen.

The “stolen generations” myth – this dangerous myth – seems more important to the Left than the truth, the consequences or the taxpayers’ cash.

First, some background on the “stolen generations” in the Northern Territory:

Lawyers had picked Lorna Cubillo and Peter Gunner as their first and best two claimants from among 550 people in the Northern Territory who’d registered with them as “stolen”.

But the Howard Government fought the claims and won.

The Federal Court in 2000 found that Gunner had actually been sent to Alice Springs by his mother for schooling and Cubillo had been rescued from a bush camp where she was found with her father long gone, her mother dead and her grandmother far away. Witnesses in the case who’d also signed up as “stolen” were shown not to be.

Moreover, after going through the records of Aboriginal policy in the Norther Territory, the judge ruled:

I am limited to making findings on the evidence that was presented to this Court in these proceedings; that evidence does not support a finding that there was any policy of removal of part-Aboriginal children such as that alleged by the applicants...

That finding was upheld on appeal. No evidence to the contrary has emerged since that finding. Court cases in Western Australia and South Australia, as well as an Aboriginal-led Task Force in Victoria, have all likewise found no proof of what is widely alleged by activists and politicians – that children were “stolen” from their families just for being Aboriginal, rather than, say, for being abandoned or abused. (See summary below.)

People claiming to be “stolen” have, on closer checking, generally turned out to have been rescued instead – just as we still must rescue Aboriginal children today. The same is true of the Tasmanian compensation scheme.

But none of this matters to Labor. Nor does it matter to Labor that the Stolen Generations myth is actually killing Aboriginal children, making authorities too scared to save Aboriginal children from dangers we’d saved them from if they were white. Children have been left in danger and have died or been raped.

Labor ignores all that. It will instead today promise to compensate Stolen Generations “victims” that the courts can’t find – victims of a policy that the courts say didn’t exist:

Bill Shorten is promising to set up a compensation fund for survivors of the Indigenous stolen generations – offering payments of $75,000 – in a bid to resolve the “unfinished business” of Kevin Rudd’s 10-year-old apology…

Mr Shorten will use the occasion – which comes one day before the 10th anniversary of Mr Rudd’s historic apology – to announce the compensation fund, which will apply to survivors in Commonwealth jurisdictions not covered by state schemes. It will apply mostly to survivors in the Northern Territory and ACT.

So how closely would a Labor Government check the claims of those lining up for that $75,000?

Not very, it turns out. Labor MP Pat Dodson on ABC Radio National Breakfast this morning said claimants would not have to go through tick-a-box checks.

I’m not surprised. Remember how the “stolen generations” claim that then Labor MP Nova Peris made about her Northern Territory family turned out to be – in my opinion – very shaky when I checked them? Peris then redefined “stolen”:

Whether you were stolen or given up, the point is my mother was raised on a mission away from her mother.

Sure, but should we compensate people who were given up rather than stolen, and then hail them as victims of racist child-stealers? Who does this help?

UPDATE

Here are some of the court findings on the “stolen generations”. Note that virtually no journalist or politician will discuss these facts.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

As Tony Thomas noted:

Justice Janine Pritchard in the WA Supreme Court on December 20 rejected claims that from 1958-79 there was any official program in WA to implement the so-called Stolen Generation policy.

Her judgment dismissed damages claims by the Aboriginal Don and Sylvia Collard and seven of their 14 children removed or made state wards. She specifically dealt with a claim that the children were removed “pursuant to a policy of assimilation of aboriginal children.”

She found the children were instead removed, mainly to Sister Kate’s in Perth, to safeguard their physical welfare…

Justice Pritchard found: “The references to ‘assimilation’ in the evidence I have set out above are not sufficient to support a finding on the balance of probabilities that at the time of the wardships there was, within the Department of Native Welfare or the Child Welfare Department, the pursuit of a policy of assimilation of aboriginal people into white Australian society through the wardship of aboriginal children…”

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The one successful claim in any court in the country in fact proves there was indeed no sanctioned policy (in South Australia, in this case) to remove Aboriginal children just for being Aboriginal.

The court found that Bruce Trevorrow had been unlawfully removed as an ailing one-year-old from his parents in early 1958. The removal was done by a well-meaning but inexperienced Aboriginal welfare worker, contrary to official policy.

But she took him from his hospital bed (where he’d never been visited by his parents) because she thought he’d been neglected and abandoned.

The judge made clear that official policy in South Australia was actually NOT to remove Aboriginal children just because they were Aboriginal, and officials worried that Aboriginal children were often left in terrible danger. As I reported at the time:

Neither Joe nor Thora [Trevorrow’s parents] went with their child, or visited him in the two weeks he was kept in hospital. Who knows what Thora’s relatives told the doctors, but the hospital’s notes say the baby, Bruce Trevorrow, was a “neglected child – without parents”, suffering from “malnutrition” and “infective diarrhoea”‘. The notes add: “The other two children are neglected. Mother has cleared out and father is boozing.” This is the baby that just two weeks later was given to an Adelaide family, which were told its mother had “gone on a walkabout”.

Unforgiveably, Joe and Thora were never asked for permission to give away their baby. And they were lied to when, six months later, Thora wrote to the Aborigines Protection Board, the official guardian of all Aboriginal children, asking to know when she’d get Bruce back, “as I have not forgot I got a baby in there”.

The reply, from the APB’s Marjory Angas, claimed Bruce was “making good progress but as yet the doctor does not consider him fit to go home”. What Bruce’s parents did not know is that it seems to have been Angas herself who’d already given away their baby – and that she’d done this against the law.

As [Justice] Gray ruled: “Mrs Angas may have been well-intentioned … but was well aware, or ought to have been aware, that the removal of the plaintiff from his family, and his placement with the Davies family, was undertaken in circumstances that were understood to be without legal authority, beyond power and contrary to authoritative legal advice.”

That illegality, said Gray, was why Bruce Trevorrow deserved a payout. The picture the judge paints over many pages is compelling: South Australia never had any laws — or policies – authorising anyone to steal Aboriginal children for racist reasons.

Gray noted, for instance, that in 1923, as South Australia passed a law to help neglected Aboriginal children, the then treasurer assured Parliament: “The dictates of humanity forbid the state to deprive mothers of their infant children in cases where their mothers desire to keep them.”

The treasurer added: “(T)he provision in the Bill (to remove older children) is designed only to be used in cases where an illegitimate child is ill-cared for by its parents.”

But there was a hitch.

In 1949, the Crown Solicitor confirmed that the law did not let APB officials take Aboriginal children from their parents.

That was the job of the Children’s Welfare and Public Relief Board, which looked after children of all races, but wasn’t so keen to remove neglected Aborigines. It found them hard to help.

In that standoff, Aboriginal children seem to me to have been less in danger of being stolen than left to rot.

Justice Gray gives examples – like the baby brought to Port Augusta Hospital in 1955 in “an advanced state of malnutrition”. Her mother was shown how to look after her child, yet it came back again “in a shocking state”. Despite the pleas of doctors to take her into care, this baby was not “stolen”, but sent back home to God knows what fate.

In 1958, the year after Bruce Trevorrow was taken, the APB’s secretary described the tragedy he confronted. “I feel sure that a higher mortality rate is evident among Aboriginal children than those of other descent,” he wrote to a colleague. “Unfortunately, there is a considerable amount of undernourishment, malnutrition and neglect.”

In fact, quite frequently (Aborigines) do not seem to worry whether the child is fed or not.”

Yet “there is not a high proportion of aboriginal children who are wards of the state, simply because our legislation does not provide that neglected children can be removed”.

Still, his officials couldn’t always stand by and do nothing. Admitted the secretary: “Again in confidence, for some years without legal authority, the Board have taken charge of many Aboriginal children, some are placed with Aboriginal institutions, which by the way I very much dislike, and others are placed with foster parents.”

As often as possible we arranged for this type of child to be adopted, necessarily of course, with the authority of the parents.” How many children had the APB removed? Some 300 over the years, taken because they were – Gray found – “thought to be neglected”. Note: not because Australia had to be kept “pure”.

This practice seems to have stopped by the end of the 1950s.

South Australia never had any laws—or policies – authorising anyone to steal Aboriginal children for racist reasons. Justice Gray noted, for instance, that in 1923, as South Australia passed a law to help neglected Aboriginal children, the then treasurer assured Parliament: “The dictates of humanity forbid the state to deprive mothers of their infant children in cases where their mothers desire to keep them.”

VICTORIA

Victoria’s Labor Government was told in 2003 ago by its Stolen Generations Taskforce that while 36 organisations were now helping the state’s “stolen generations”, not one truly stolen child could actually be found.

In fact, the Aboriginal-led taskforce (chaired by Jim Berg) admitted that in Victoria, at least, there had been “no formal policy for removing children”. Ever.

This was too embarrassing a truth for the Government to accept. So it just spent $5.1 million to create yet another outfit – Stolen Generations Victoria – to help the “stolen” children no one can find.

TASMANIA
Tasmania has already got a compensation scheme, but where’s the proof that the compensated were “stolen” just for being Aboriginal, rather than simply saved?
.

In January 2008, the then Tasmanian Labor government led by Paul Lennon said it would pay 84 Tasmanians $58,000 each because they claimed to be members of the Stolen Generations. And 22 offspring of ‘victims’ who had died, each got $5000. The Liberals there backed the idea. It was all very nice.

Except that it was legally impossible for any Tasmanian to have been stolen in the period nominated by the Human Rights Commission (“Bringing Them Home”). That period was 1910-70.

Why? Because after the death in 1876 of Truganini, the last Tasmanian Aborigine, all Aborigines were presumed to have died out and hence there were no laws based on or directed at race. They were not mentioned again legally until the 1970s. There was no mainland-type system of Aboriginal “Protectors” and their wards.

Hence no Tasmanian could have been legally and officially ‘stolen’ because of their Aboriginality. Even two recent Ph.D. theses on Tasmanian child welfare, 1880-1940, reported: “We found only two passing references to the Aboriginality of state wards, among hundreds of records.”

The authorities did know that a small community at Cape Barren Island were descendents of indigenous wives of Bass Strait sealers since 1810. But they were only mentioned in legislation to do with land leases.

Here are the four compensation cases that were made public at the time, presumably because they were the strongest:

So who are the 106 “stolen generations” members compensated under Tasmania’s $5 million scheme? Most names have been withheld, but four claimants have identified themselves.

Eddie Thomas was taken from his grandmother when he was six months old and his mother dead. He claimed his grandmother was duped into signing a consent form. Really? For racist reasons?

Annette Peardon said her case files showed she was actually removed for “neglect”. She didn’t believe it, yet admitted her mother served three months for the crime.

Debra Hocking, a Stolen Generations Alliance spokeswoman, told the ABC she, too, was “removed on the grounds of neglect” and conceded: “In Tasmania there were no removal policies as such …”

The fourth, Heather Brown, said she and six other children were taken from home for reasons she can’t explain. But why assume she was stolen merely for being Aboriginal?

Historian Keith Windschuttle found half of the Aboriginal wards documented from 1969 to 1995 were removed because of “neglect” and most of the rest after they broke laws or were uncontrollable, in danger or abandoned.

And now Bill Shorten wants a compensation scheme just like this for the Northern Territory.

Can this be right?

 

One thought on “Australia’s Never Ending “Stolen Generations” Racket”

  1. Why will white man’s money make them any happier? How did it suddenly become a panacea for all their often self-created ills?

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