by Anthony Hill illustrated by Mark Sofilas (Viking Books Australia 1994)
peace with ourselves-peace with each other
recommended but unavailable - maybe a copy in your local library
The Stolen Generations refers to a time in Australian History between 1910 and 1970. About one hundred thousand Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families by police or welfare officers. Many of the children were under five years of age. The Burnt Stick is a story that sensitively deals with this regrettable tragedy. It is for all ages to share together and to appreciate the lasting impact of such actions. This story seeks to teach the importance of many peace-building elements:
What happened to the children? Why were they taken?
It was Federal and State Government policy that Aboriginal children during those years, especially children considered to be of mixed Aboriginal and European parents, should be removed from their families and their traditional communities. The main reason was to assimilate these children into European society and deny their Aboriginality. The children were forbidden to speak their traditional languages and were unable to keep in contact or even visit their families. Many were taken hundreds of kilometres away from their homelands. The children's parents were also not told of their whereabouts.
The Burnt Stick is one such story about a young boy John Jagamarra whose mother, determined to keep her son, tried to trick the Welfare Officer who came for her child.
So how does the story end???
......the story invites all Australians to assist in the creation of happy endings
for all children and families of the Stolen Generations.
There is always hope.
Critical questions to explore with children
Creative questions to explore with children
© Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation October 2005