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'Day of Mourning' 1938
*On this date in 1937, the Commonwealth Government held a national conference on Aboriginal affairs.
The Conference agreed that Aboriginal people ‘not of full blood’ should be absorbed or ‘assimilated’ into the wider population. Assimilation aimed to make the ‘Aboriginal problem’ gradually disappear so Aboriginal people would lose their identity in the wider community.
Protection and assimilation policies that impacted harshly on Indigenous Black people included separate education for Aboriginal children, town curfews, alcohol bans, no social security, lower wages, State guardianship of all Aboriginal children, and laws that segregated Indigenous people into separate living areas, mainly on special reserves outside towns or in remote areas.
Another major element of the assimilation policy was stepping up the forcible removal of Indigenous children from their families and their placement in white institutions or foster homes.