They were stolen from their family !
Who is part of the stolen generation ? From the 1910’s to the 1970’s aboriginal children were stolen from their family. This is why they are called “stolen generations”.
Florence Onus is part from the stolen generation, she agreed to share us her story and the story of her family.
“Four generations of my family have suffered”Florence Onus
Florence Onus is an aboriginal descendant, she explains to us she is the fourth generation of her family who has suffered from Christianization with the politics of protection and assimilation.
First of all, her great-grandparents were forcibly removed from their land and sent to the Australian Frontier War and to a reserve with her grandparents who were very young parents at that time.
Florence’s older sisters were taken to live with catholic nuns while Florence and her younger siblings were sent to a local orphanage and later to a foster home until their adolescent years.
So she said “as an adult, as a mother and a grandmother, I made the decision that my children would never be removed from me”, this sentence is really powerful because it shows the determination of Florence.
“The only way to move forward is through healing”
This story, her story, had a lot of consequences on her life, she said that it’s a “horrific history with a lot of losses”. This has left an inter-generational trauma (alcoholism, a lot of suicide attempts…).
So for the last 25 years of her life, Florence has been on a healing journey : she has participated in a lot of therapies with psychologists. She prefers art-therapies such as culture, dance, art and smoking therapies.
She’ll continue her healing journey promoting healing services for people who are traumatized, like her, all around aborigines’ nations.
One day, a person asked her “Florence what are you healing from ?” she was really surprised and she realized that non indigenous- the major part of Australian population in fact- have no idea what they’re healing from.
It still continues…
Florence continues to move forward, she’s an example for all of us. But unfortunately her story is unknown and she thinks we must raise awareness thanks to education.
It’s on the right tracks because in 2008, the first minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, apologized to the Stolen Generations using the word “Sorry”. So that’s why the 26th of May is called “Sorry day”. Memorials for the stolen generations were built too.
But it’s not totally over because today, still too few people know what happened.