•  
  •  
 

Abstract

In recent years groups of young people, educators, and leaders of peace and reconciliation processes internationally, have met to learn from each other's experiences of various reconciliation settings from across the world. Let's Talk is a project that facilitates cross-cultural and international exchange amongst people from diverse regions including Australia, Latin America, the European Union, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. One of the key issues in the process of Reconciliation between Indigenous and nonIndigenous peoples in Australia relates to the widespread removal of Aboriginal children from their families as an instrument of assimilation; what has become intemationally known as the 'Stolen Generations'. It has been five years since the largely critical findings of a National Inquiry into the policies and practices of Aboriginal child removal were tabled in the Australian Parliament. Let's Talk has provided a vehicle for Aboriginal women and men to tell their stories, stimulating new insights about the politics of identity, and better understandings of the complexities of families and communities, especially where children have been displaced. A recent visit of an Australian delegation to University College, Cork, focused on potential social and political implications of child removal in cross-cultural settings. ' The story of Australia provides a cautionary note, as this paper reveals. The mistakes of our history show that 'good intentions ' are not adequate reasons in explaining child removal and must entail critical reflection and analysis. Policies must be well thought out and developed with all stakeholders in mind, particularly conceming children from diverse cultural backgrounds. There are important lessons to be learnt from the traumatic impact of policies of child removal in Australia during the twentieth century.

Share

COinS