The Assimilation Policy and Its Impact on the Indigenous Australian Society

Since the time of federation the Aboriginal people have been fighting for their rights through protests, strikes and the notorious ‘day of mourning’. However, over the last century the Australian federal government has generated policies which manage and restrained that of the Aboriginal people’s rights, citizenships and general protection. The Australian government policy that has had the most significant impact on indigenous Australians is the assimilation policy. The reasons behind this include the influences that the stolen generation has had on the indigenous Australians, their relegated rights and their entitlement to vote and the impact that the policy has had on the indigenous people of Australia.
The assimilation policy was a policy that existed between the 1940’s and the 1970’s, and replaced that of protectionism. Its purpose was to have all persons of aboriginal blood and mixed blood living like ‘white’ Australians, this established practice of removing Aboriginal children (generally half-bloods) from their homes was to bring them up without their culture, and they were encouraged to forget their aboriginal heritage. Children were placed in institutions where they could be 'trained' to take their place in white society. During the time of assimilation Aboriginal people were to be educated for full citizenship, and have access to public education, housing and services. However, most commonly aboriginal people did not receive equal rights and opportunities, for example, their wages were usually less than that paid to the white workers and they often did not receive recognition for the roles they played in the defence of Australia and their contribution to the cattle industry. It wasn’t until the early 1960’s that expendi...

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By Rachael Kearney

Works Cited

“Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human History. We reflect on their past mistreatment. We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations—this blemished chapter in our nation’s history. The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future. We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians” (apology by Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, 16th November 2009, Parliament House, Canberra.)

‘I want a Little Fair Play if you will be so kind enough to see on my Behalf’ (, 2001).

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