Explore how the consequences of the Stolen Generations manifest for Indigenous children and young people, particularly in relation to identity development
From 1869, Indigenous Australian families were ravaged by colonising Europeans. It was not until 1975 that Aboriginal children were able to live with their families without being forced into an adopting white family (Korff, 2013). The Aboriginal children who were taken are referred to as the Stolen Generation; with its members still suffering from the trauma and confusing development they endured at a young age (Burns 2008).
Every Aboriginal child suffered developmental issues regardless of the age they were taken. A newborn that is forcibly removed is deprived of breastfeeding, denying it health benefits and the opportunity for a closer mother-child bond. Piaget’s stage theory states that from four months old, a child will try imitate surrounding interesting sounds and movements. Piaget also suggested that from two years old we begin to develop a vocabulary that develops our social context (Hoffnung et. al, 2010). These development stages must have made the Aboriginal child question its identity as it was bound in an Aboriginal body but lived a white colonisers’ social life. Also, the child was placed in white schooling, which resulted in them becoming unpopular; causing the development of socially inappropriate behavior and academia problems (Hoffnung et. al, 2010). The children were involuntary medical tests and often beaten or sexually abused. This physical trauma has scarred many, as well as creating distraught in the children’s minds of growing up not knowing their family nor true identity (Burns 2008).
However, it is not just the individual child who was impacted, the families of the Stolen Generation suffered enormously. A report of ‘National Sorry Day’ showed a man explaining his fathers’ emotions at the time his children were taken away. The father labeled...