A summation of Keith Windschuttle’s The Fabrication of Aboriginal History – Vol 111: The Stolen Generations 1881-2008 from Andrew Bolts blog, a devastating assault on the scholarship of Professor Peter Read, the man who invented the “stolen generations” phrase.
Read claimed that his national estimate of 45-50,000 stolen children, included 5626 stolen in NSW. Windschuttle’s own estimate for NSW removals from 1912-68 was only 2600. They were not ‘stolen’ – far from it. Of those, two-thirds were simply teenagers boarded out for apprenticeships, just like white kids. 103.5
The other third were largely orphans, neglected, destitute, in moral danger, or abused, in other words, rescued not stolen. As a percent of all NSW Aboriginal children in those 56 years, the annual separation rate was 1 to 2 percent, hardly the ‘genocide’ claimed by the Human Rights Commission, or backing its claim that ‘not one Indigenous family’ was escaping the effects of forcible removals
I really recommend reading it all to get some facts about what happened in the past without it being filtered through the biased lens of the left leaning media in this country.
Go and read part two of the series as well
UPDATE: The third in this series is now up and worth a read. This time it the data from the Northern Territory.
UPDATE II: Next part of the series is now up. This is about A.O Neville of rabbit proof fence fame.
From 1915 to 1940, the total number of ‘unattended’ children sent to Moore River was 252, that is, an average ten per year. This included a large-ish number in a single year 1933, when about 90 adults and children arrived from a Northam fringe camp to be quarantined because of a scabies epidemic in the camp.419.
The academics, TV producers and Human Rights Commission talk not of hundreds of WA kids removed, but ‘thousands’. They seem to be out by a factor of ten. It could not possibly be true, Windschuttle says.
Of the 252 removed, A.O. Neville says they were orphaned, abandoned, or neglected welfare cases. One baby, for example, had been picked up after being left in the bush at Perth’s Kings Park.
UPDATE III: The fourth in the series on the review of Keith Windschuttle’s latest book on the “stolen generation”
Only a year earlier, the government’s own submission to the Human Rights Commission had made it clear that from the late 19th C to the mid 20th C, very few Aboriginal children had been officially removed. Moreover, after 1957, the Aborigines Welfare Board did not have the authority to remove children at all! 560
The only removals the government could find were some unauthorised private fosterings and informal adoptions. There was nothing for the government to apologise for. “Yet the government wanted so badly to have Stolen Generations of its own, it ignored the findings of its own research and apologised anyway, just like they did in Tasmania.”
UPDATE IV: Next in the series of essays about Keith Windschuttles book. This one is about Sister Kate, A nun who looked after abandoned kids in Perth.
UPDATE V: Next in the series, How Tasmania tried to find their “Stolen Generation”.
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. p537, 539.
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….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.” p540.
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.
Finally, Windschuttle does what he always does best, counts how many kids were ‘removed’. The commission was officially told how many by the State government itself, but by keeping mum about that, the commission showed ‘yet another deceit…perpetrated in its discussion about Tasmania’. p550
The child Aboriginal wards existing in various documented years from 1969 to 1995 was in the range 20 to 40 per year. Half or more involved ‘neglect’, other causes were law-breaking, uncontrollable, own protection, and voluntary. As a guide, by 1975, wards were 0.8% of the Aboriginal population. p551
Since the commission was trying to argue that Tasmanian authorities were out to eliminate Aboriginality by stealing children, it would make itself ridiculous by publishing such figures.
So, once again, the Human Rights Commission got out its airbrush, Windschuttle says. The figures were not published.
UPDATE VI: Here is the last of the essays about Keith Windschuttle book The Fabrication of Aboriginal History – Vol III: The Stolen Generations.
I would have taken them as well as I suspect most people would when you hear these stories.
– A five-year-old half-caste girl was ‘taken’ by the Chief Protector in 1905 from the upper Fitzroy River. The local telegraph operator C.J.Annear had reported:
A few days ago she was out with the old woman, Mary Ann, when a bush black took her away for two nights during which time the blacks here said he made use of her. Such actions as that of Polly and the man are very common among the natives. 443
– In 1900 at La Grange Bay, another postmaster F.W. Tuckett reported how girls under ten years had been cohabiting with Asiatics for many months. The half-caste girls commanded the best prices and enabled the mother and so-called father to live without any exertion whatsoever on the proceeds of tucker received fortnightly in the creeks, where from 20 to 40 boats come in for food and water. 443
– Anglican lay missionary Mary Bennett in 1934 testified:
“The practice to which I refer is that of intercision of the girls at the age of puberty. The vagina is cut with glass by the old men, and that involves a great deal of suffering…If they (the girls) get wind of it they come to the mission till the danger is passed…I remember my old aboriginal nurse speak with horror of the suffering which she had been made to undergo.” 464
– In 1929 at Drysdale River, Pallotine monks were still appalled by families prostituting their daughters. One couple had been trafficking with their young daughter ‘in a big way’; she “must go wherever the father calls her. If only we had Sisters (nuns), she and the other girls could be saved from this life of perdition!” 444
– A constable at La Grange Bay reported that a quarter of 400 Aborigines in his remit had venereal disease caught from Asian lugger crews, and of one group of 30, 17-18 had died – mainly young women. 445
– Boys of 10-12 were being lured or forced onto Malay pearling boats for sexual use. 445
– In one graphic account, postmaster Tuckett reported in 1904 that at Cowan Creek mooring grounds, more than 50 Aboriginal females were mating with Asian crews on elaborate beds in the sandhills. He complained this was just one of many such mooring grounds, and VD was rampant. 445-6
For all that, don’t imagine the WA missions either saved or harmed great numbers of children. Windschuttle’s usual meticulous count found that in 1932, the total in WA’s ten missions was just under 400, in a state with more than 20,000 Aborigines. The biggest mission, at Beagle Bay, had the equivalent of three classrooms-full.