worksheet 1: Pre-reading activities Working in pairs or groups, explore what you already know about the removal of Indigenous children from their families by answering the following questions: 1. Make a list of things you know about the history of removal of Indigenous children from their families. __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ 2. What information do you know about the Australian Human Rights Commission (the Commission)? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ 3. Why are national Inquiries conducted by government and statutory bodies? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ 4. What information do you know about the Commission’s National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ 5. Do some research to find out key pieces of information on the issue of Indigenous children who were removed from their families (including who, where, when and why). Tip: Visit some of the websites below (or use a search engine and find alternative websites on Indigenous issues). Bringing them home - A guide to the National Inquiry http://www.humanrights.gov.au/bth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Section http://www.humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/index.html Bringing them home Oral History Project - National Library of Australia http://www.nla.gov.au/oh/bth/ 6. Make a list of five useful sources on this topic, explaining why the source is credible and useful for students. Be prepared to justify your list to the class. worksheet 2: Common experiences When the Commission held its national Inquiry, it received 777 submissions. Of these, 535 came from Indigenous people or groups. Like Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, most submissions reported on personal experiences of removal from families and communities. While the stories differed according to the person or place they grew up, many of them had common experiences. These common experiences are outlined in the Bringing them home community guide. 1. Listed below are some of the experiences of Indigenous children. Find an example from Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence that relates to the common experiences mentioned in the Bringing them home report. Write this in the right-hand column. Personal experience reported to the Bringing them home Inquiry Experiences of Molly, Gracie and Daisy in Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence. Children were discouraged from family contact. Children were taught to reject other Aborigines and Aboriginality. Institutional conditions were very harsh. Children’s education was often very basic. Excessive physical punishments were common. Children found happiness with new families. Authorities failed to care for and protect the children. 2a. The removal of children had a wide range of effects on Indigenous people and communities. Did the experiences of Molly, Gracie and Daisy effect their lives as children and adults? If so, how? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ 2b. Give an example from Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence that relates to each of the effects listed below. Effects on individuals and communities reported to the Bringing them home Inquiry Loss of heritage Examples from Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence. Loss of the primary carer in infancy Forcibly removed worksheet Indigenous parenting skills undermined The next generations at risk from health issues worksheet 3. Exploring the stories When the Commission held its national Inquiry, it received stories from Indigenous people and groups around Australia about their experiences of removal. Some of these stories appear on the Commission's website, with permission from those who submitted them. They can be found at: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/stolen_children personal_stories.html 1. Working in pairs, read one or more of the 17 stories available from the Commission’s website. Write down some of the experiences described in the stories you have read below. 2. After discussing the stories you have read, select one and write the name of the person whose story you have chosen in the first space of the third column in the table on the following page. 3. Complete the answers to the questions in the first column as they relate to Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence and your selected story from the Bringing them home report. 4. Report back to the class, giving a brief summary of the person's experience, and compare it with the story of Molly, Gracie and Daisy. Questions Experiences of Molly, Gracie & Daisy in Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence. Experiences discussed in the Bringing them home Inquiry story. Story name: What are some of the differences between their experiences? What state/territory were they in? How old were they when they were removed? Who removed them or how were they removed? Where were they put after they were removed? What are some of the similarities between their experiences? worksheet 4. Key questions "Thousands of miles south, politicians and other officials were planning the destinies of children like Molly, Gracie and Daisy." Pages 39-40, Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence. "The common belief at the time was that part-Aboriginal children were more intelligent than their darker relations and should be isolated and trained to be domestic servants and labourers. Policies were introduced by the government in an effort to improve the welfare and education needs of these children." Page 40, Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence. In the Bringing them home education materials, you will find a timeline http://www.humanrights.gov.au/education/bth/timeline/index.html. Using the timeline answer the questions below: 1. When were these laws or policies introduced in Western Australia? What was the main thing the law did about Indigenous children like Molly Craig? 2. In the timeline, find a similar law that operated in another state or territory. When was it introduced? What did it mean for Indigenous children? 3. The author of Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence starts her story from when the first military post is set up in what is now called Western Australia. What reasons do you think the author had for starting here and not from when Molly, Gracie and Daisy were born or removed? 4. During their journey back to Jigalong, the three main characters are pursued by a police constable and an Indigenous 'tracker'. How do you think the tracker might have felt about trying to find them, especially given that he was also Indigenous? 5. Write a summation of your overall response to your studies of Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence and the stories from the Bringing them home report. What have you learned that you didn’t know before? Express your views and opinions on some of the issues raised in your reading.