Today we watched a movie called “The rabbit proof fence”. This movie is about a group of children called the stolen generation in Australia. I found this movie quite interesting and I have watched it before several times due to its relevance to Australian history. Our teacher, Ann, gave us some tasks to do after we saw the movie.
- What period of history is described in the movie? I believe that the period was from 1936-1940. At the end of the movie, we see that Mr. Neville described as Mr. Devil by the local indigenous people resigned as the highest protector of the indigenous people in West Australia. The surroundings and environment in Perth and in the deserts along the rabbit proof fence dates back to before the WWII I believe. The Australian “Indigenous welfare act” passed by the parliament in the early 20th century and was state policy until 1972.
- Your reflections on the topic, what did you know before you saw the movie and read the background, and what did you learn today? I have already watched the film several times, but I find the film interesting each time. I think that this chapter of Australian history is a dark one, and dark chapters must not be swept under the chair. We need to be educated about the violations of human rights that previous Australian governments committed. Only then are we able to close this chapter and move on forward to another chapter. A chapter that includes all Australians both indigenous and non-indigenous.
- Review the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What was wrong with what the Australians were doing with the half-caste children? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in article 4 that nobody should be enslaved or held against their will. The half-castes children were held against their will, but this vicious policy is in clear contrast to the first Article of the declaration. Article 1 states ” All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Those who were in favour of this policy, meant that the aboriginals were backwards and must be thought white “civilized” ways. These men and women did not act in the spirit of brother – and sisterhood with the indigenous people.
Here is a link to when the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd finally realized that an apology would be appropriate. (mind that the australian Parliament apologised 38 years to late) ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKWfiFp24rA