Stolen Generations


Stolen Generations is told by the survivors of the Stolen Generations, a policy of Australia which began in the 20th century and lasted until the 1970s.

You will hear from people, who, as children, were brutally removed from their families, rounded up and transported from one side of the country to the other. You will also hear stories of resistance - how mothers smeared their children with black clay to make them more 'black', hid them in trees, behind sand dunes, in hollow logs, or were constantly on the move to avoid 'The Welfare'. Passing for white also became a common strategy for survival.

Stolen Generations also documents the long-term effects—the unresolved trauma and grief, the alcoholism and suicide, and the loss of Indigenous identity, culture and language. It will also tell the stories of reunion between stolen children and surviving parents - both joyous and painful.

The stories told are those of

  • Bobby Randall, a singer/songwriter who recalls the traumatic experience of being placed in a mission dormitory at the age of 4
  • Cleonie Quayle, a mother of four who remembers at the age of 5 being enticed into the back seat of a large black car. Cleonie spent the next 12 years in foster families where she experienced sexual abuse.
  • Daisy Howard, a Kimberley woman who was separated from her half-sister May fifty years ago. Daisy worked as a domestic, while May grew up in the bush with her parents.

Using archival footage and clips from newsreels and television, Stolen Generations takes the viewer on a journey of discovery with the three central characters.


Bobby Randall
Cleonie Quayle
Daisy Howard
Henry Reynolds
Marcia Langton
Release dates
2000 - Australia
Best Documentary - 2000 AFI Awards
G - general
Ronin Films

In Stolen Generations historians Henry Reynolds and Marcia Langton discuss claims about forcibly removal of indigenous children.

Darlene Johnson is from the Dunghutti tribe of the east coast of New South Wales.

Also by Darlene Johnson: Two-Bob Mermaid (1996) and a documentary on the making of Phil Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence and Crocodile Dreaming (2007).

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2020, Stolen Generations, <>, retrieved 25 July 2024

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