'half-caste' homes

Earlier this century (until 1963) thousands of part-descent children were separated from their families (sometimes by force) and placed in government and mission institutions. Government policy reflected prevailing genetic theories. Occasionally parents placed their children in these institutions by choice. Sometimes the mother would also enter the home and work as a domestic.

In the Northern Territory many of these children were placed in two 'half-caste' homes - The Bungalow in Alice Springs and The Kahlin Half-caste Home in Darwin.

After protests about living conditions at the Bungalow the children were moved to Jay Creek in 1928 and from there in 1932 to The Old Telegraph Station, 5 kilometres from Alice Springs.

Today, with the vitality of a number of communities weakened by government handouts (sit down money), corruption and limp paternalism; violence, rape, abuse, petrol sniffing and malnutrition characterise the environment for many aboriginal children. For these children permanent brain damage and sexually transmitted diseases are endemic. The decisive protective action which might at first remove these children from harm has not been possible.