Reconciliation between Aboriginal and Other Australians: The “Stolen Generations”


*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Di Bretherton, International Conflict Resolution Centre, Department of Psychology, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3051, Australia [e-mail:].


The current study presents an overview and content analysis of the “Stolen Generations” inquiry as an example of how structural violence, grounded in the geohistorical context of the invasion of Australia by Europeans, plays itself out in the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. The inquiry, based on testimony received from 777 people and organizations, documented the impact of the government policy, from 1910 to 1970, of removing Aboriginal children of mixed heritage from their families. The consequences of these forced separations are examined and the implications of the inquiry are considered. We critically reflect on the role psychology has played in the past, and suggest roles for peace psychology, particularly in view of theoretical questions related to reconciliation processes.