‘Those children who are in child protection now, some of them are eight generations of family that have been institutionalised,’ Florence Onus says

When the Bringing Them Home report was released on 26 May 1997 Florence Onus was too busy to read the news. While Australians attempted to reconcile the truth of the assimilationist policies that had sought to destroy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture by forcibly removing generations of children from their parents, she was dealing with its direct effects.

Her mother had been removed from her traditional Bidjara and Jagalingu country in central Queensland to Woorabinda Aboriginal mission in 1938, when she was five. She attempted suicide in the 1980s and was no longer able to care for herself.

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