By Colin Tatz
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Extra resources for Aboriginal Suicide Is Different: A Portrait of Life and Self-Destruction
25 Aboriginal Suicide is Different In 1983, the historian, Peter Read, published a short monograph on the ‘stolen generations’ in New South Wales. The annual reports of the Aborigines Protection (later Welfare) Board were always explicit: ‘This policy of dissociating the children from [native] camp life must eventually solve the Aboriginal problem’. By placing children in ‘first-class private homes’, the superior standard of life would ‘pave the way for the absorption of these people into the general population’.
From the very rough statistics we have of those periods, it is likely that at least 50,000 Aborigines were denied access to either the white or the special Aboriginal schools for the first 70 years of the twentieth century. Here, then, is ‘assimilation’ practised either by way of total segregation or total exclusion from state systems. Here, too, is another source of a legacy of bitterness and hostility towards government agencies. 25 Aboriginal Suicide is Different In 1983, the historian, Peter Read, published a short monograph on the ‘stolen generations’ in New South Wales.
The matter of a treaty There is confusion, uncertainty and unease about a proposed ‘treaty’. 10 Chapter 10 of the Reconciliation — Australia’s Challenge report11 insists that, after ten years of deliberation and consultation, there must be some formal settlement of the issues presented. Most Aborigines are not demanding an equal voice as a ‘nation’, but they do seek the credence and credibility of being able to sit at a negotiating table to discuss ‘reconciliation’, land use, and levels of autonomy.