Indigenous Speeches: Exploration of the Mabo Case, Stolen Generation and Reconciliation

1822 Words Jun 15th, 2018 8 Pages
Exploration of the Mabo Case, Stolen Generation and Reconciliation
Both Keating’s and Rudd’s speeches are firmly based on the ideas of recognition and reconciliation for the wrongs that European settlers, and their decedents, have inflicted on Indigenous Australians. To explore this idea I believe that it is necessary to take a closer look at both the plight of Eddie Mabo and the stories of the Stolen Generation.

The Mabo Case
Eddie Mabo is widely known for his plight to regain land rights for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In 1982, along with four other Meriam people from Murray Island, he initiated legal proceedings in the Queensland Supreme Court claiming customary ownership of their lands on Murray Island. This
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5). Few managed to find themselves being adopted into loving and nurturing white families, but these children still suffered great losses such as loss of language and connection to country.

The act of child removal was not only damaging to the children but also to their families, communities and country. Families, in particular mothers, were put through immense grief when their children were taken away for ‘a better life’. I believe the best was to illustrate this is to engage with the stories of those who experienced the trauma. When Margaret Tucker and one of her sisters were removed, their mother completely broke down. Margaret’s recollection puts into perspective just how much grief was left behind.

She wandered off the road to rest in the long grass under a tree. That is where old Uncle and Aunt found her next day. They found our mother still moaning and crying. They heard the sound and thought it was an animal in pain. Uncle stopped the horse and got out of the buggy to investigate. Auntie heard him talking the language. She got down and rushed to old Uncle’s side. Mother was half-demented and ill. They gave her water and tried to feed her, but she couldn’t eat. She was not interested in anything for weeks, and wouldn’t let Genevieve out of her sight. She slowly got better, but I believe for months after, at the sight of a policeman’s white helmet coming round the bend of the river, she would find her little girl and escape into the bush, as did all the
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