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Aboriginal Family History: Stolen Generations

The State Library of South Australia holds a wide cross section of information about South Australia and its people, some of which relates to Aboriginal people, but specific information regarding families can sometimes require broad research.


On 26 May 1997, the National enquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families (also known as the 'Bringing them home' report) was tabled in Federal Parliament.

Evidence to the enquiry detailed the painful and long-lasting effects of past government policies and practices that led to the removal of Aboriginal children from their families. The report delivered 54 recommendations detailing how Australia should make reparations for the injustices suffered by this 'Stolen Generation'.

This guide was last updated by Library staff in 2022. It comprises selected material held by the State Library or available online. 

To find further material relevant to this topic, try searching with these subject headings in the State Library catalogue:

Aboriginal Australians - Government policy
Children, Aboriginal Australian - Government policy
Stolen Generations (Australia)

For more assistance, talk with staff at the Library's Information Desk or Ask us.


Apology to Australia's Indigenous peoples, February 13 2008 as delivered by Kevin Rudd.

AIATSIS. To remove and protect: laws that changed Aboriginal lives - South Australian legislation and Protectors' reports relating to Aboriginal people.

Find and connect South Australia A website for ‘Forgotten Australians’, former Child Migrants, and those an interest in the history of out-of-home 'care' in South Australia.

Healing Foundation. A national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that provides a platform to amplify the voices and lived experience of Stolen Generations survivors and their families.

Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. Bringing them home report.

National Archives of Australia. Bringing them home indexing project fact sheet.

National Library of Australia, Bringing them home Online collection of oral history interviews.

Stolen Generations Reparations Scheme. Will hear evidence and make payments for those members of South Australia's Aboriginal communities removed from their families.

The ‘Stolen Generations’ Testimonies’ project is an initiative to record on film the personal testimonies of Australia’s Stolen Generations Survivors and share them online.


The State Library has a number of eResources that are useful for finding articles relating to Aboriginal history and contemporary events. Become a State Library member to access many of these from home. 

Newsbank features local, regional and national newspaper coverage, including The Advertiser and The Australian

Books and pamphlets

Beresford, Quentin. Our state of mind : racial planning and the stolen generations, 1998.

Bird, Carmel (ed). The stolen children : their stories : including extracts from the Report of the National Inquiry..., 1998.

Bringing them home : a guide to the findings and recommendations of the National Inquiry..., 1997.

Briskman, Linda. The black grapevine : Aboriginal activism and the stolen generations, 2003.

Buti, Antonio. A stolen life : the Bruce Trevorrow case, 2019.

Finding your own way : a guide to records of children's homes in South Australia, 2005.

Fraser, Rosalie. Shadow child : a memoir of the stolen generation, 1998.

Haebich, Anna. Broken circles : fragmenting indigenous families 1800-2000, 2000.

Hall, Andrew. A brief history of the laws, policies and practices in South Australia which led to the removal of many Aboriginal children : we took the children : a contribution to reconciliation. 3rd ed. 2014.

Healey, Justin (ed). Stolen generations : and the way ahead, 2019.

Hollinsworth, David. They took the children, 2003.

Kidd, Rosalind. Black lives, government lies, 2000.

Kolle, Claudine. 'The abduction of Aboriginal children in South Australia' in Cabbages and Kings, vol. 20, 1992, pp 12-14.

McGee-Sippel, Lorraine. Hey mum, what's a half-caste? 2009.

Manne, Robert. In denial : the stolen generations and the right, 2001.

McInerney, Kunyi June Anne. Kunyi, 2021.

Mellor, Doreen and Haebich, Anna (ed). Many voices : reflections on experiences of indigenous child separation, 2002.

Ministerial Council for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families : ...Government responses ..., 2000.

Moses, Dirk (ed). Genocide and settler society : frontier violence and stolen indigenous children in Australian history, 2004.

Muir, Hilda Jarman. Very big journey : my life as I remember it, 2004.

National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families (Australia). Bringing them home : report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families, 1997. Also available online.

Pilkington, Doris. Follow the rabbit-proof fence, 1996.

Raynes, Cameron. The last protector : the illegal removal of Aboriginal children from their parents in South Australia, 2008.

Read, Peter. A rape of the soul so profound: the return of the stolen generations, 1999.

Sultan, Cissy and Bradley, Kathleen. Cissy's story, 2nd ed. 2013.

Tatz, Colin. Genocide in Australia: by accident or design, 2013. Also available online.

Why Me? 5 Stories of removal from family and country, 2006. An award-winning film showing the human costs of a policy which removed children from their families and country and the careful work of restoring meaning and connection to dislocated lives.