The Stolen Generation

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The Stolen Generation by David Keig Good morning fellow students. What I wish to share with you today may seem shocking, frightening to imagine happening to you; and yet, it is part of Australia’s history. Picture you as a small child. Someone you don’t know, who doesn’t respect your family or your culture, forcibly removes you from your crying and screaming mother, promising that you will never return. The Stolen Generation. 100 000 Indigenous children separated from their loved ones and communities at a young age (Reconciliaction Network, 2007). Can you imagine the psychological scarring - the fear and confusion? And on the other hand, can you even begin to understand how Australians could have treated the original inhabitants of our land in this way. David Keig, a survivor of this tragedy, wrote of his journey in a poem titled, The Stolen Generation. His first-hand experience of the suffering of the Aboriginals adds tremendous validity to this work. Keig’s poem portrays to the audience this seemingly unjustifiable treatment of fellow humans through the eyes of an innocent boy. Australians in fact ‘stole’ an entire generation of these first Australians for only one reason: to assimilate or breed out Indigenous people. Why were they subjected to this drastic action? What was their crime? They were simply of Aboriginal descent, something they could not change even if they wished to, but which marked them as inferior. This heart-wrenching story of victimisation is powerfully portrayed by Keig through the creation of an image, moulded by the use of poetic devices, and infused with his ideas, attitudes and values. David Keig represents Australians negatively in the poem, The Stolen Generation, as in his image we see that Australians did not consider Aboriginals to be their equals or to be worthy of holding a valid place in society. His image also

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