At the turn of the twentieth century the systematic forced removal of Aboriginal children from their mothers, families and cultural heritage was commonplace. There were several reasons that the government and white society used to justify the separation but the prevailing ideology of nationalism and maintaining Australia for the ‘whites’ was the over-riding motivation and justification for their actions. Progressive sciences such as anthropology espoused such theories as eugenics, miscegenation, biological absorption and assimilation which legitimated governmental policies relating to Aboriginal affairs. It was …show more content…
Girls especially were singled out as they could be trained to be domestic servants. It would appear that by removing the half caste children and sending them to institutions and foster homes and demonizing their Aboriginality it was assumed that they would inevitably forget their Aboriginal heritage and would be grateful to assimilate and become white.
White Australia during the latter part of the nineteenth and early twentieth century was inherently racist and under the guise of protectionist and assimilationist policies Aboriginal children were forcibly removed for no other reason than to preserve the racial purity that white Australia protected so fiercely. Government and white society justified these policies citing parental and community neglect of the children. Policies such as absorption were justified by the belief that white society was doing the Aboriginal people a favour in breeding out their colour when the truth was that white society was offended by the blackness of their skin and the cultural differences that set them apart from the rest of white Australia.
Jacobs, Patricia, “Science and veiled assumptions: miscegenation in Western Australia. 1930 – 1937.” Australian Aboriginal