The biggest issue with teaching Australian films is the inherent problem that many students (and teachers) approach them as being boring, dull, or bad.Rather than engage with the films, most view the experience as a civic duty that one must simply 'endure'.They escape again and start walking toward their homes. They have within their heads an instinctive map of the way and are aided by a fence that stretches for hundreds of miles across the outback, to protect farmlands from a pestilence of rabbits. That Australians could have accepted thinking such as his, and indeed based government policy on it, indicates the sorry fact that many of them thought aborigines were a step or two down the evolutionary ladders from modern Europeans.
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But why could the mixed-race children not stay where they were? One is that a half-white child must be rescued from a black society.
Another was that too many "white genes" would by their presumed superiority increase the power and ability of the aborigines to cause trouble by insisting on their rights.
A third is that, by requiring the lighter-skinned children to marry each other, blackness could eventually be bred out of them.
Of course it went without saying that the "schools" they were held in prepared them only for menial labor.
More than a century after slavery was abolished in the Western world, a Western democracy was still practicing racism of the most cruel description.
The children's fathers were long gone--white construction workers or government employees who enjoyed sex with local aboriginal women and then moved on.
Their story is a truly moving tale of defiance and resilience.
About the author: Doris Pilkington is also the author of Caprice: A Stockman's Daughter.