Grandmothers Against Removals

On the 20th anniversary of Sorry Day, May 26, a day to remember the forced removal of First Nations' children from their families that became known as the Stolen Generations, a delegation of First Nations' grandmothers marched on Parliament House chanting "Bring our children home".

Rather than being a landmark for progress and reconciliation the delegation of Grandmothers said that 20 years on, the situation has only worsened.

The continued forced removal of children from their families is one of the biggest crises facing Aboriginal communities today. More children are being removed now than at any time in Australia's history, with almost 16,000 Aboriginal children in “out of home care” on any given night.

This was the subject of a public forum organised by Grandmothers against Removals (GMAR) Sydney on April 30. GMAR is a national network that was formed by families who have been directly affected by forced removal.

Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) attended the launch of a “guiding principles document” in Tamworth on November 9 to be implemented by Tamworth Family and Community Services (FACS).

The document was negotiated with GMAR after a series of protests last year that targeted the Tamworth FACS office, which had removed an unprecedented number of Aboriginal children from their families. The campaign forced FACS to admit that the situation needed to change.

The fight against the WA government’s widely unpopular decision to close a number of remote Aboriginal communities and force Aboriginal people off their land received a further boost this week with news that activists are set to converge on the state.

The Grandmothers Against Removals, a group established to respond to the continued Stolen Generation enforced by the current and previous federal governments, will converge on Perth on May 26 to lend a hand in the fight against the closures.

Grandmothers Against Removals National Committee and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy released this statement at a rally in Canberra on the anniversary of the National Apology on February 13.

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Today we march in protest against the unprecedented theft of Aboriginal children from their families by so-called “Child Protection” agencies across Australia.

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