The mere mention of the policies which led to the Stolen Generation is enough to see most Aussies hang their heads with latent guilt.
Even those who weren’t yet born when these policies came to an end feel oddly responsible.
However, ending the terribly misguided program hasn’t ended the suffering of many Aboriginal children.
And now the federal children’s minister wants to relax rules requiring Aboriginal children to be placed with other indigenous families after being shocked by sexually transmitted diseases rates.
David Gillespie acknowledges there may be concerns about creating another Stolen Generation, but says he’s more worried about creating an ‘abandoned and damaged generation’.
‘I don’t want them recycled back into harm. I’ve had my eyes opened in the last couple of weeks … looking at STD rates [among Aboriginal children] is just mind-blowing,’ he told News Corp on Tuesday.
‘If a child is being raped we can’t just say it’s OK on cultural grounds.’
Dr Gillespie believes the need to keep Aboriginal children in indigenous communities ‘doesn’t trump other issues’.
‘In small communities, if a family is dysfunctional, that’s not satisfactory,’ he told the paper.
He believes it’s ‘pretty poor’ that only 143 of the nearly 48,000 Australian children in foster care last year had been adopted.
The Australian Tribune with AAP