Stop stealing children say Human Rights Day protesters

Photo: James Supple

A Human Rights Day protest against the forced removal of Aboriginal children was organised on December 10 in Redfern.

Bundjalung, Wiradjuri and Yorta-Yorta woman Tyeisha Patten said that the stolen generations policies were still in place and described her own campaign to have family members returned.

“My Elders lived through the stolen generation [time] and now our children are living the same trauma of forced removal. Our families are impacted by it; we are living, experiencing and trying to overcome these challenges every day.

“Children belong with family, in our communities and strong in our culture, not assimilated into departments’ ideas about who we should be and what we are capable of.

“I have experienced first-hand the way the department and judges discriminate against us because we are Aboriginal. They don’t know what’s best for us. Our people do.

“We asked for change at the [1967] Referendum. We ask for change every Invasion Day and we are still asking for change. It is time Australia is held accountable,” Patten said.

Greens MP David Shoebridge, who has , said if it becomes law it will “save families and prevent the multi-generational trauma and tragedy of separation.

“Without urgent changes to law, policy and practice, in decades to come governments across Australia will be apologising for the stolen generation they are creating right now."

Raul Bassi from the Indigenous Social Justice Association lent his support to Patten’s campaign.

Meanwhile a new report, released by National Voice for our Children on December 9, found that Aboriginal children are ten times more likely to be removed from their families than non-Indigenous children and that the number of removals is rising each year.